Johannes Bobrowski

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bobrowski, Johannes


Born Apr. 9, 1917, in Tilsit; died Sept. 2,1965, in Berlin. German writer (German Democratic Republic). Son of a railroad worker.

A participant in World War II, Bobrowski was a prisoner in the USSR from 1945 to 1949. His first collections of poetry were published in 1961–62, followed by collections of short stories and the novel Levin’s Mill (1964). Published posthumously were the novel Lithuanian Keyboards (1966) and the collection of short stories The Forewarning (1967). The relations between the Germans and their eastern neighbors, the Slavs and Lithuanians, is the main concern in Bobrowski’s creative work, and he resolves it on a humanistic level. His poetry and prose are characterized by subtle lyricism and abundant historical digressions and comparisons.


Mäusefest und andere Erzählungen. Berlin, 1965.
Boehlendorff und andere Erzählungen. Stuttgart, 1965.
Sarmatische Zeit: Gedichte, 2nd ed. Berlin, 1966.
Schattenland Ströme: Gedichte, 2nd ed. Berlin, 1966.
In Russian translation:
“Poiushchee slovo: Stikhotvoreniia.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1968, no. 5.
“Litovskie klaviry.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1969, no. 4.
“Stikhi raznykh let.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1970, no. 8.


Ratgauz.G. “Vremia nadezhdy.” Voprosy literatury, 1966, no. 11.
Girnus, V. “Krasnye rozy Iogannesu Bobrovskomu.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1969, no. 2.
Wolf.G. J. Bobrowski. Berlin, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Johannes Bobrowski (1917-1965) is a significant German modernist poet and novelist whose work directly engages the problematic question of German "Schuld" (guilt) in respect of the Holocaust.
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Contemporaneo a Noll y Fuhmann, Johannes Bobrowski, plasma en este relato su profunda preocupacion por el pueblo aleman y el este de Europa durante el dominio nazi.
Berliner Literaturpreis (1996), the Johannes Bobrowski Medal (1996), and
WINNER OF MANY literary awards (among them the Alfred Doblin Prize), Reinhard Jirgl received the Berlin Literature Prize and the Johannes Bobrowski Medal for the manuscript of Die atlantische Mauer.
His honors include the Berliner Literaturpreis (1996), the Johannes Bobrowski Medal (1996), and the Uwe Johnson-Preis (1997); John Brownjohn's English translation of Flughunde (published as The Karnau Tapes by Harcourt) received the Kurt and Helen Wolff Prize for literary translation in 1998.
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