Carolin Emcke

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Carolin Emcke at LitCologne 2019
Carolin Emcke at re: publica 2016

Carolin Emcke (born August 18, 1967 in Mülheim an der Ruhr ) is a German author and publicist . In 2016 she was awarded the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade .

Life and accomplishments

Professional background

Carolin Emcke, daughter of an Argentinian and a German, grew up in Wuppertal and Hamburg and graduated from high school in 1986 . She then studied philosophy, politics and history in Frankfurt am Main , at the London School of Economics and at Harvard University . She received a scholarship from the German National Academic Foundation and did her doctorate in philosophy with Axel Honneth in Frankfurt with the thesis Collective Identities: Socio-Philosophical Foundations .


Carolin Emcke (2010)

From 1998 to 2006 she worked in the foreign editorial department of the Spiegel and reported from crisis areas. In 2003/2004 Emcke taught political theory as a visiting professor at Yale University in seminars on "Theories of Violence" and "War Crimes Witness". Since 2004 she has moderated the monthly discussion eventStreitraum ” at the Schaubühne in Berlin . In 2006 and 2007 Emcke worked as a consultant for the journalism course at the Hamburg Media School , and has been a freelance journalist since 2007. a. for ZEIT and the Süddeutsche Zeitung .

She regularly holds and publishes seminars and lectures on topics such as globalization, theories of violence, testimony, photography and cultural identities. In 2008 the report appeared as well as a look back at her godfather and then spokesman for the board of directors of Deutsche Bank Alfred Herrhausen , who was murdered on November 30, 1989 in an attack attributed to members of the third generation of the Red Army Faction . In the publication Mute violence, Emcke advocates a social dialogue. If the law enforcement authorities fail to solve the crime through the criminal investigation , the aim of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission would be to break the silence through the principle of "freedom against clarification": the perpetrators are granted an amnesty on the condition that they receive a make a full confession . This implies a willingness on both sides to forego violence, revenge and contempt. Carolin Emcke received the Theodor Wolff Prize for the text .

Carolin Emcke at the Leipzig Book Fair 2012

In the autobiographical book How we covet (2013), Emcke describes the discovery of her homosexuality , formulating her wishes, but also discussing social exclusion as a result of her coming out . In January 2014, she conducted an interview with Thomas Hitzlsperger about his coming out for Die Zeit .

From 2014 to 2016 she was a member of the first jury of the Bavarian Book Prize . She is also a member of the PEN Center Germany .

She is one of the supporters of the Charter of Fundamental Digital Rights of the European Union , which was published at the end of November 2016.

Since 2017 Emcke has organized the ABC der Demokratie series in the Cumberland Gallery of the State Theater Hanover , which takes place four times a year.


Carolin Emcke lives in Berlin and is in a relationship with Silvia Fehrmann, who heads the DAAD's Berlin artist program .


On October 23, 2016, Emcke was awarded the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade in Paulskirche on the occasion of the Frankfurt Book Fair ; Her laudator was her doctoral mother Seyla Benhabib . Your acceptance speech received both benevolent approval and strong criticism. In the FAZ , Patrick Bahners praised Emckes “insistent and empathic” efforts to “regain the social or inner peace that democracy requires”, while Thomas Schmid and Adam Soboczynski Emcke “repetition of banalities” and “ notorious misappropriation of immigration problems ”. Following the award ceremony, Federal President Joachim Gauck criticized Emcke's complete abandonment of collective terms such as “ nation ”.



  • Collective identities. Socio-philosophical foundations. Campus, Frankfurt am Main / New York NY 2000, ISBN 3-593-36484-0 (Dissertation University of Frankfurt 1998, 360 pages); 2nd edition 2010, ISBN 978-3-593-39222-6 .
  • From the wars. Letters to friends . Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2004, ISBN 3-10-017013-X (The original texts were translated from English by Sebastian Vogel and revised by the author for the print version).
  • Echoes of Violence. Letters from a War Reporter . Princeton University Press, Princeton / Oxford 2007, ISBN 978-0-691-12903-7 .
  • Silent violence. Thinking about the RAF. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2008, ISBN 978-3-10-017017-0 (with contributions by Winfried Hassemer and Wolfgang Kraushaar ).
  • As we desire. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2012, ISBN 978-3-10-017018-7 .
  • Because it can be said: About witness and justice. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2013, ISBN 978-3-10-017019-4 .
  • Think! Suggestions from Roger Willemsen, Carolin Emcke, Nina Pauer, Harald Welzer, Stefan Klein u. a. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2014, ISBN 978-3-596-03080-4 .
  • Against the hatred. Essay. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2016, ISBN 978-3-10-397231-3 .
  • Yes means yes and ... S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2019, ISBN 978-3103974621 .

Article (selection)

  • Liberal Racism . In: Die Zeit , No. 9/2010; Carolin Emcke on opponents of Islam.
  • I'm tired . We are allowed to heal the sick, risk our lives as soldiers and represent Germany at the Olympics. We are not only allowed to marry and raise children. Why actually ?, in: Die Zeit No. 34, August 16, 2012, p. 3.
  • Carolin Emcke: Refugees: Welcome to Germany . two articles in: Zeit-Magazin and Die Zeit on February 27, 2014 and March 7, 2014.


Web links

Commons : Carolin Emcke  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

  1. Carolin Emcke . In: Internationales Biographisches Archiv 42/2016 of October 18, 2016 (accessed via Munzinger Online ).
  2. Dispute currently . Archived from the original on July 11, 2016. Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved August 17, 2016. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. streitraum's videos on Vimeo .
  4. Dispute Room. In: Retrieved October 23, 2016 .
  5. Interview: “I want the perpetrators to speak” . In: Zeit Online , May 14, 2008; Retrieved July 6, 2010.
  6. Carolin Emcke: Silent Violence .. In: The time , No. 37/2007..
  7. "As we desire" - Carolin Emcke on homosexual life in Germany. In: Der Tagesspiegel , November 28, 2013; Retrieved June 26, 2016.
  8. Carolin Emcke, Moritz Müller-Wirth: Thomas Hitzlsperger: "Homosexuality is ignored in football" . In: The time . No. 3 , 2014 ( [accessed October 31, 2016]).
  9. Bernd Ulrich: Homosexuality in football - Thomas Hitzlsperger: From the offside. In: Der Tagesspiegel , November 28, 2013; Retrieved June 26, 2016.
  10. ^ Website Bavarian Book Prize 2016 ; Retrieved June 26, 2016.
  11. ABC of Democracy. On the website of the Lower Saxony Foundation, accessed on October 1, 2017.
  12. a b Carolin Emcke receives the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade 2016.; accessed on June 24, 2016.
  13. ^ Spiegel online, Hamburg Germany: Peace Prize Winner Carolin Emcke: The Anti-Dylan. In: Spiegel online . Retrieved June 3, 2018 .
  14. ^ Judith Von Sternburg: Carolin Emcke: Optimism against Fanaticism . In: . ( [accessed on October 25, 2016]).
  15. The good and the bad . ( [accessed on October 25, 2016]).
  16. Patrick Bahners: Peace Prize for Carolin Emcke: You let hate . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . October 23, 2016 ( [accessed October 25, 2016]).
  17. Frankfurt: Carolin Emcke thanks for the peace prize. In: Welt Online . Retrieved October 25, 2016 .
  18. Adam Soboczynski: Carolin Emcke: The suffering of others . In: The time . No. 44 , 2016 ( ).
  19. Reply to Carolin Emcke: What Gauck missed - the nation. In: Welt Online . Retrieved October 25, 2016 .
  20. Ernst Bloch Prize 2006 (pdf). Archived from the original on October 19, 2007 ; accessed on January 8, 2014 .
  21. Theodor Wolff Prize 2008, award-winning text, evaluation of the jury and vita. Archived from the original on September 19, 2011 ; accessed on January 8, 2014 .
  22. ^ Carolin Emcke: Anti-Islam opponents: Liberal racism . In: The time . No. 9 , 2010 ( ).
  23. ^ Annette Milz : Die Journalisten des Jahres 2010. December 21, 2010, accessed on December 22, 2010 .
  24. ^ Documentation of the Merck Prize for Carolin Emcke on the website of the German Academy for Language and Poetry.
  25. Lessing Prize 2015 goes to reporter Carolin Emcke . Short news from Deutschlandradio Kultur , August 24, 2014; accessed on August 24, 2014.
  26. ↑ The bridge prize goes to Carolin Emcke. In: July 30, 2019, accessed July 31, 2019 .
  27. Prime Minister Armin Laschet awards the State Order of Merit to ten citizens. State Chancellery of North Rhine-Westphalia , July 1, 2020, accessed on July 1, 2020 .
  28. If you stab us, we won't bleed. FAZ from October 14, 2016, p. 10.