‘Euphoria, disillusionment, hope


Bodo Schwarzberg
Portraits of people from the Kyffhäuserkreis district

read by Hanns Zischler
arranged by Gerhard Ahrens

Discussion with Jana Hensel, Karsten Krampitz, Matthias Platzeck and Hanns Zischler
Moderated by: Stephan-Andreas Casdorff

Bodo Schwarzberg spoke to a great number of people in the region where he was born, the southern Harz, and recorded these conversations, which focused on the question of how the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the developments since then have influenced their fates. The result is an absorbing chronicle that traces the biographies of some of the people that lived in the eastern part of the country after German Reunification. Excerpts from these exemplary stories will be read out and provide the inspiration for a panel discussion that intends to explore the issues of identity, home and loss during times of major upheaval, and the conflict between the euphoria that followed the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the later disappointments. What is the state of German society in east and west thirty years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall? Do the GDR and the east German biographies call for a more differentiating perspective? Is there any hope that reunification will equal true unity one day?

Leipzig-born Jana Hensel became famous in 2002 with her book Zonenkinder. She writes for Zeit Online and Die Zeit im Osten. Her most recent publications are Keinland (2017) and, in collaboration with Wolfgang Engler, Wer wir sind. Die Erfahrung, ostdeutsch zu sein (2018). Karsten Krampitz hails from Rüdersdorf in the former GDR; he has written for street newspapers and also for such renowned newspapers as the FAZ, Junge Welt, Berliner Zeitung and Die Welt. His PhD thesis topic was the public self-immolation of the pastor Oskar Brüsewitz, and he has written several books, including 1976, die DDR in der Krise. Matthias Platzeck was a government minister under the GDR’s last SED premier Modrow in 1990 and subsequently went on to become the federal state of Brandenburg’s Minister for the Environment and the Executive Mayor of Potsdam. He chairs the German-Russian business forum and the Federal Cabinet’s Commission on Growth, Structural Change and Employment. Hanns Zischler has lived in (West) Berlin since 1968 and is an actor, director, translator and essayist. He has worked at the Berliner Schaubühne theatre and with directors such as Wim Wenders, Claude Chabrol, István Szabó and Steven Spielberg. He has translated Jaques Derrida and has also written books himself, including Das Mädchen mit den Orangenpapieren (2016). The discussion will be moderated by the editor of the Berlin newspaper Tagesspiegel, Stephan-Andreas Casdorff.

‘Euphoria, disillusionment, hope


  • Saturday, 26.10.2019
  • 16:00
  • Great Hall

Reading and discussion


€ 12 / concessions € 9

Advance bookings

can be made on
+49 (0)33476 600-750