Günter de Bruyn

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Christa Wolf and Günter de Bruyn at the Berlin Encounter to Promote Peace (1981)

Günter Martin de Bruyn [ də ˈbʀɔɪn ] (born November 1, 1926 in Berlin ) is a German writer .


Günter de Bruyn was born the youngest of four children. He spent childhood and school in Berlin-Britz . He took from 1943 to 1945 as an Air Force auxiliary and soldier in Czechoslovakia in World War II in part. After his release from American captivity and a stay in a hospital because of a head injury, he found a job as a farm worker in Hesse . After his return to Berlin in 1946, he was trained as a new teacher in Potsdam . Until 1949 he worked as a teacher in Garlitz in the Havelland.

From 1949 to 1953 he trained as a librarian . He then worked until 1961 as a research assistant at the Central Institute for Libraries in East Berlin . At that time he also worked as a lecturer and published works on library studies.

De Bruyn has been working as a freelance writer since 1961 . From 1965 to 1978 he was a member of the central board of the GDR Writers' Association , and from 1974 to 1982 he was a member of the Presidium of the GDR PEN Center . At the GDR writers' congress in Berlin in 1981 he was one of the few criticisms of the GDR's politics:

“[You] have a bad feeling when you open the newspapers when the GDR welcomes the antiwar struggle of Christians, pacifists and conscientious objectors across the borders, but the antiwar struggle of Christians, pacifists and conscientious objectors within its own borders is hindered. "

- Günter de Bruyn (1981)

The already printed edition of his novel New glory was at the behest of the second instance of censorship makuliert . Only after Neue Herrlichkeit was published in West Germany in 1984 (by Fischer) could it also appear in the GDR in 1985 (by Mitteldeutscher Verlag in Halle).

In October 1989 he refused to accept the GDR national prize because of the government's “rigidity, intolerance and inability to dialogue”. He “publicly questioned his own behavior like no other GDR author”.

He is a member of the PEN Center Germany and the Board of Trustees of the Academy for Spoken Word in Stuttgart.

One son is the writer and museum director Wolfgang de Bruyn . Günter de Bruyn lives in Berlin and Görsdorf - Blabber am Blabbergraben near Beeskow ( Oder-Spree district ).

Artistic creation

Günter de Bruyn's work consists, on the one hand, of often autobiographical , realistic novels and narratives that critically deal with the private life of cultural workers in the GDR, and on the other hand, of essays on literary and historical topics, especially the history of Prussia .

He is the editor of a number of authors from the 18th and 19th centuries related to Berlin and the Mark Brandenburg , which was published under the title Märkischer Dichtergarten (with Gerhard Wolf ).

He had great success in the 1990s with the two volumes ( Interim Balance Sheet and Forty Years: A Life Report ) of his autobiography .

Awards and honors


  • About the work in open access libraries , Berlin 1957
  • Wedding in Weltzow , Halle (Saale) 1960
  • See you again on the Spree , Halle (Saale) 1960
  • Introduction to the systematics for general education libraries , Berlin 1961
  • Der Hohlweg , Halle (Saale) 1963
  • A black, abysmal lake , Halle (Saale) 1963
  • Masquerades , Halle (Saale) 1966
  • Buridan's Esel , Halle (Saale) 1968 (first published in " Sinn und Form " 1963)
  • Award ceremony , Halle (Saale) 1972
  • Der Holzweg , in: openings. Writer about her first work . Edited by Gerhard Schneider. Berlin / Weimar 1974
  • Tristan and Isolde , Berlin 1975
  • Gender swap in "Blitz aus heiterem Himmel" , Berlin 1975, pp. 7–45, (anthology edited by Edith Anderson )
  • The life of Jean Paul Friedrich Richter , Halle (Saale) 1975
  • Märkische research , Halle (Saale) u. a. 1978
  • In cross section , Halle (Saale) u. a. 1979
  • Babylon , Leipzig 1980
  • New glory , Frankfurt am Main 1984
  • Reading joy , Frankfurt am Main 1986
  • Women's service , Halle (Saale) u. a. 1986
  • Brandenburg , Munich a. a. 1991 (with Hauke ​​Dressler)
  • Im Spreeland , Freiburg im Breisgau 1991 (with Erhard Pansegrau)
  • Cheers, funeral chants , Frankfurt am Main 1991
  • Interim balance. A youth in Berlin. Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1992
  • Mein Brandenburg , Frankfurt am Main 1993 (with Barbara Klemm )
  • That's what I told you in Frankfurt am Main in 1995
  • What else I want to write , Göttingen 1995 (with Ingo Hermann)
  • Irritation and Understanding , Stuttgart 1995
  • Forty Years: A Life Report , Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1996
  • Age considerations on the old Fontane , Berlin 1999
  • The Finckensteins. A family in the service of Prussia , Siedler Verlag, Berlin 1999; as paperback: Berliner Taschenbuchverlag 2001, ISBN 3-442-76005-4 .
  • German conditions , Frankfurt am Main 1999
  • Luise of Prussia . On the emergence and decay of a legend , Berlin 2001. As an e-book btb Verlag (TB), ISBN 978-3-641-01037-9
  • Outdated , Frankfurt am Main 2001
  • Unter den Linden, Stories about a Street , Berlin 2003
  • Offside. Declaration of love to a landscape . With photos by Rüdiger Südhoff, Frankfurt am Main 2006, ISBN 978-3-596-16663-3
  • Good as poetry. Fates from Berlin's art epoch 1786 to 1807 . Frankfurt am Main 2006
  • The time of dire need: Fates from the cultural life of Berlin 1807 to 1815 , S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2010, ISBN 978-3-10-009834-4 . E-book ISBN 978-3-10-400743-4
  • Countess Elisa. A life and love story , S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2012, ISBN 978-3-10-009643-2 . E-book ISBN 978-3-10-402070-9
  • Kossenblatt. The forgotten royal castle , S. Fischer Verlag 2014
  • Die Somnambule or Des Staatskanzlers Tod , S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2015, ISBN 978-3-10-002421-3
  • Sinner and saint. The unusual life of the poet Zacharias Werner , S. Fischer: Frankfurt am Main [2016], ISBN 978-3-10-397208-5
  • The sand poet. Friedrich Wilhelm August Schmidt, called Schmidt von Werneuchen , Frankfurter Buntbücher 60, Verlag für Berlin-Brandenburg, Berlin 2017, ISBN 978-3-945256-98-5
  • The ninetieth birthday. A rural idyll . S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2018, ISBN 978-3-10-397390-7


Film adaptations

TV literature portrait

"In the slipstream of the wall", Günter de Bruyn - chronicler of his time , a film by VERA BOTTERBUSCH (www.verabotterbusch.de) 60 min., BR 1993

Audio books

Radio productions

  • Interim balance: Eine Jugend in Berlin , reading shortened by the author with Günter de Bruyn, director: Veronika Hübner, MDR KULTUR 1996
  • Neue Herrlichkeit unabridged reading with Jürgen Hentsch , director: Petra Meyenburg , MDR FIGARO 2006
  • Forty Years: A Life Report , unabridged reading with Sylvester Groth , director: Klaus Zippel , MDR FIGARO 2011
  • The ninetieth birthday. A rural idyll , unabridged reading with Burghart Klaußner , director: Matthias Thalheim, MDR KULTUR 2019


  • Günter de Bruyn , ed. v. Heinz Ludwig Arnold. Ed. Text + Critique, Munich 1995. ISBN 3-88377-502-9
  • Günter de Bruyn in perspective , ed. By Dennis Tate. Rodopi, Amsterdam 1999. ISBN 90-420-0566-1
  • Günter de Bruyn. Materials for life and work , ed. v. Uwe Wittstock. Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verl., Frankfurt am Main 1991. ISBN 3-596-10960-4
  • Owen Evans: A first-person training. Personal authenticity in the prose work of Günter de Bruyn , Lang, Bern u. a. 1996. (= European university studies; Ser. 1, German language and literature; 1580) ISBN 3-906756-14-9
  • Marga Firle: Storytelling as a language act in poetic communication. Investigations on commenting in the "Märkische Forschungen" by Günter de Bruyn , Akad. D. Knowledge d. GDR, Central Inst. f. Sprachwiss., Berlin 1987. (= Linguistic Studies / A; 167)
  • Magdalena Grams: Günter de Bryun's artistic relationship to reality. Depicted in the choice of characters, conflict formation and narrative style of his selected prose works , Univ. Diss. A, Leipzig 1988.
  • Frank Hafner: "Home" in socialist society. The change in the GDR image in the Günter de Bruyns factory , Lang, Frankfurt am Main a. a. 1992. (= Munich studies on literary culture in Germany; 13) ISBN 3-631-43097-3
  • Karin Hirdina: Günter de Bruyn. Life and work , publishing house Das Europ. Book, West Berlin 1983. ISBN 3-88436-136-8
  • Anja Kreutzer: Research on poetics Günter de Bruyns , Lang, Frankfurt am Main a. a. 1995. (= contributions to literature and literary studies of the 20th century; 12) ISBN 3-631-48129-2
  • Lutz Kube: Between "Heimat" Brandenburg and Socialism , UMI, Ann Arbor, MI 2005.
  • Domenico Mugnolo: Günter de Bruyn narratore , 2nd ed. Univ. di Trento, Dipartimento di Storia della Civiltà Europea, Trento 1993. (= Ricerche di germanistica; 3)
  • Marcel Reich-Ranicki: Response: On German literature of the seventies. German Verl.-Anst., Stuttgart 1979. ISBN 3-421-01890-1
  • Peter K. Stein: History of literature, research on reception, "productive reception". An attempt from a mediaeval aspect based on observations on Günter de Bruyn's adaptation of Gottfried von Strasbourg's "Tristan" in the context of the scientific and cultural-political situation in the GDR , Kümmerle, Göppingen 1979. (= Göppinger works on German studies; 287) ISBN 3-87452- 463-9
  • Short biography for:  Bruyn, Günter de . In: Who was who in the GDR? 5th edition. Volume 1. Ch. Links, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-86153-561-4 .
  • Bernhard M. Baron , Falkenberg 1945: Stopover for Günter de Bruyn , in: Heimat - Landkreis Tirschenreuth Vol. 26 (2014), Pressath 2014, pp. 163–170, ISBN 978-3-939247-55-5

Web links

Commons : Günter de Bruyn  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Recording of the congress speeches, German Broadcasting Archive . And: Report by Henry Bernhard 1981 on Deutschlandfunk .
  2. Thomas Brose : Günther de Bruyn returns to the literary stage: Questions to the present . In: Herder Korrespondenz , vol. 73 (2019), no.11, p. 51.
  3. Tilman Spreckelsen : Are you just loud, he's thorough. Honest, sensual: this narrator has developed an amazing age style - for the ninetieth birthday of the writer Günter de Bruyn . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of November 1, 2016, p. 11.
  4. Academy for the Spoken Word | Board. Retrieved March 2, 2018 .
  5. Information from the Office of the Federal President
  6. Winner of the Jean Paul Prize ( Memento of the original from June 27, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) 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. , Bavarian State Ministry for Education and Culture, Science and Art @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.km.bayern.de
  7. Helmut Glück , Walter Krämer , Eberhard Schöck (Ed.): German Language Culture Prize 2006 - Speeches and Speeches . Paderborn 2006, ISBN 978-3-931263-63-8 .
  8. Congratulations to Günter de Bruyn | MWFK. Retrieved December 11, 2017 .
  9. Book review: Kossenblatt. The forgotten royal castle ( Memento from May 14, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), WDR3 from April 9, 2014