Tysk höst

German Autumn

- With a newly written foreword by Elfride Jelinek

by Stig Dagerman

German Autumn is Dagerman’s most well-known piece of journalism written during an assignment to war-ravaged Germany in the fall of 1946.

His vivid account of the lives of ordinary Germans attracted much attention because he dared to see these individuals as suffering human beings at a time when all Germans commonly were regarded simply as tokens of national disgrace or guilt. Rather than blaming the German people for the war’s atrocities, calling them crazed or evil, Dagerman portrayed the human ordinariness of the men and women who were scraped by in the ruins of war. To him, the root of disaster lied in the anonymity of mass-organizations that obstruct empathy and individual responsibility, qualities without which the human race is threatened by extinction.

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