German Buch News: Talking About the Fall of the Berlin Wall; One in 15 Germans Functionally Illiterate

In German Buch News by Edward Nawotka

By Siobhan O’Leary

On the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Boersenblatt features an interview with author and 2007 German Book Prize winner Julia Franck about her experience of growing up in East Berlin and then moving to West Berlin with her family when she was 8 years old. After the move, Franck says that she and her family were unable to receive visitors or to have any semblance of a social life. Franck states that much has changed in the last 20 years, particularly in cities like Berlin, but that in more remote areas, it has become clear why reunification wasn’t as simple as it looked—some in the DDR had an almost infantile relationship with the state, she says. Her biggest question, even 20 years after the fact, is why the Wall was never torn down by those on the West side. Instead, she says, they stood with their backs to it.

According to the publisher Ernst Klett Sprachen, one in every 15 Germans is functionally illiterate. The publisher is donating three tons of books to promote literacy, the Boersenblatt reports. The 12,000 books are being given to the Bundesverband Alphabetisierung und Grundbildung (the German Federal Literacy Association).

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.