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    Zum Tode von Siegfried Lenz

    By Dorothea Holloway | October 10, 2014

    Siegfried Lenz – 1988 Peace Prize at the German Book Fair in Frankfurt by Ronald Holloway in KINO –German Film, No: 30 (1988):

    Of the three authors – Heinrich Böll, Günter Grass, and Siegfried Lenz – who have left an indelible stamp on postwar German literature, Siegfried Lenz was the last to be singled out for high literary honors: the prestigious Frankfurt Peace Prize awarded annually at the city’s German Book Fair. A humanist who adheres to the classical tradition in his writings, he is respected for his compassion, tolerance, and personal moral code. He is able to treat those tired but still effective concepts of freedom, sense of duty, and challenge of responsibility as though these options were placed before the individual today for reflection and decision. And due to his polished narrative skills, Lenz’s novels and stories have been regularly adapted to German television. The editors of KINO were pleased to recommend Volker Vogeler’s adaptation of his “Ein Kriegsende – An End to the War” in our No: 18 issue (Spring 1985), written directly for television and narrated by the author himself.

    Shot in documentary black-and-white tones, it received the Silver Prize of the DAG (Deutsche Angestellten Gewerkschaft) Jury. Lenz’s best known novels, “Deutschstunde” (German Lesson – 1968) and “Heimatmuseum” (The Heritage – 1978), were both adapted as tv-serials. […] Yonahan Meroz, a personal friend and Israeli diplomat (ambassador to Bonn between 1974 and 1981), addressed himself to the note of tolerance in Siegfried Lenz’s works and the freedom that is achieved first “in an internal state of mind”. Lenz himself underscored in his highly praised and critical acceptance speech in Frankfurt the multiple examples of violence against humanity and his fellow-writers along with the importance of freedom of speech to safeguard peace in the world. As a man of tolerance, he might be classified as an optimist – yet it is through writers like
    Siegfried Lenz that Germany can speak with Germany again.

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