Strittmatter, Erwin

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Strittmatter, Erwin


Born Aug. 14, 1912, in Spremberg. German writer of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Member of the Academy of Arts of the GDR (1959). Member of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany. First secretary (1959–61) and vice-president of the Writers’ Union of the GDR.

Strittmatter, a soldier in the Wehrmacht, deserted toward the end of the war. Since 1945 he has lived in the countryside. The success of his first novel, The Oxherd (1950), encouraged him to become a professional writer. His play Katzgraben, which was performed by the Berliner Ensemble in 1953 and published in 1954, was highly praised by B. Brecht. The novel Ole Bienkopp (1963; Russian translation, 1965) portrayed the development of socialist consciousness in the postwar German countryside.

Strittmatter’s novel Miracle Worker (part 1, 1957; Russian translation, 1960; part 2, 1973) is written in the Bildungsroman genre. Against a panorama of German history, it depicts a man evolving from a naïve peasant youth into a socially aware Communist grown wise from experience. Strittmatter also wrote several collections of short stories and novellas. His work strongly reflects the traditions of classic German literature and folklore.

Strittmatter has been awarded the National Prize of the GDR (1953, 1955, 1964, 1976), the G. Lessing Prize (1961), and the T. Fontane Prize (1966).


Tinko. Berlin, 1954.
Stücke. Berlin, 1967.
Pony Pedro, 11th ed. Berlin, 1970.
Schulzenhofer Kramkalender, 6th ed. Berlin-Weimar, 1973.
Ein Dienstag im September. Berlin, 1974.
Die blaue Nachtigall oder der Anfang von etwas, 3rd ed. Berlin-Weimar, 1974.
Meine Freundin Tina Babe. Berlin, 1977.
In Russian translation:
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1971.


Simonian, L. “Prodolzhenie sleduet.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1975, no. 1.
Knipovich, E. ”Chudodei snova v puti.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1976, no. 5.
Rindfleisch, R. “E. Strittmatter.” In Literatur der DDR, vol. 1. Berlin, 1974. (Contains bibliography.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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