German Literature

German Literature
  • German authors
  • Literature in the Middle Ages
  • 16th, 17th and 18th century literature
  • Enlightenment literature
  • Romantic literature
  • Naturalist and Expressionist literature
  • 20th century literature
  • German war and post-war literature
  • Contemporary literature

War and Post-War Literature in Germany

The rise of Hitler's social nationalism in the 30's destroyed German culture; in the field of literature trivial realism and fanatic nationalism was imposed, leading to the eventual exile of many novelists and poets, victims of the persecution or because they simply refused to endure a dictatorship.

After the Nazi regime fell, German literature underwent an important renewal. A new generation of writers and poets emerged and began their careers after World War II. Among some of the most notable are names such as Heinrich Böll, Nobel Prize winner in Literature in 1972, and the members of Gruppe 47 (Group 47) Uwe Johnson, Günter Grass and Lenz.

Especially noteworthy works include Böll's Billiards at "Half-Past Nine" (1959), where the author investigates German history through a family's adventures throughout the past fifty years; "The Tin Drum" (1959) by Grass, a satire on Nazi Germany, made into a film in 1979; and Johnson semi-autobiographic trilogy, "Anniversaries" (1970-1973).