Gudrun Pausewang

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Gudrun Pausewang (2008) at a reading at Bielefeld University

Gudrun Pausewang (* 3. March 1928 in Mladkov (Wichstadtl) , Czechoslovakia ; † 23. January 2020 in Bamberg ; married name Gudrun Wilcke ) was a German writer . She mainly wrote children's and youth literature . Her best-known works include Die Not der Familie Caldera (1977), The Last Children of Schewenborn (1983) and The Cloud (1987). In 2017 Pausewang was awarded the German Youth Literature Prize for her complete works.


As the eldest daughter of a farmer, Gudrun Pausewang grew up with five siblings, including the later author Freya Pausewang , in Eastern Bohemia . After primary school, she attended a girls' high school . Her father died in World War II when she was 15 years old. After the end of the war, she and her family fled to West Germany. In Wiesbaden she went on to school and graduated from high school in 1948. She then studied at the Pedagogical Institute in Weilburg an der Lahn and taught as a primary and secondary school teacher.

From 1956 she taught for five years at German schools in Chile and two and a half years in Venezuela . During this time she traveled to Central , North and South America , including the Amazon region , Tierra del Fuego , Peru , Bolivia , Colombia and Mexico .

Federal Minister Katarina Barley (right) with Gudrun Pausewang at the award ceremony for the 2017 German Youth Literature Prize

At the end of 1963 she went back to Germany, studied German and was employed as a teacher at a primary school. Four years later she went to Colombia with her husband Hermann Wilcke , where she taught for five years at the German School Barranquilla . In 1972 she finally returned to Germany with her then two-year-old son and lived in Schlitz in Hesse until 2016 . This small town later became the setting for her works The Last Children of Schewenborn and The Cloud . She worked there as a teacher until she retired in 1989. One of her students was the future journalist and art dealer and now Rowohlt publisher Florian Illies . From 2016 she lived in a retirement home near Bamberg.

In 1988 Pausewang received the German Youth Literature Prize for Die Wolke , and in 2017 she received the special prize of the German Youth Literature Prize for her life's work. In 1998 she did her doctorate at the University of Frankfurt am Main with her dissertation Forgotten Youth Writers of the Erich Kästner Generation .

Gudrun Pausewang died on January 23, 2020 near Bamberg at the age of 91.


During the first ten years of her writing activity, Pausewang only wrote books for adults, later also for children and young people. She dealt with problems in the Third World, which she became aware of in South America . She also campaigned for peace and environmental protection and warned against the use of nuclear energy and against neo-Nazi tendencies. In 1989 she retired as a teacher and since then has devoted herself entirely to writing and reading in schools, libraries and bookstores.

According to Pausewang, he has published more than 100 books, which often revolve around the topics of peace and environmental protection, several of which have received awards. The total circulation of her books at the time of her death was about 5 million. Written in the spirit of the peace and ecology movement of the 1980s, she takes a clear and distinct political position in her books. So were The Last Children of Schewenborn or The Rise and Fall of the island Delfina cult books for the anti-nuclear movement and for the generation of dropouts in the early 80s. Critics, on the other hand, consider this positioning to be overdrawn and one-sided. Since the early 1990s, Pausewang has also written a number of books for young people on the subject of National Socialism , which she had experienced and lived as a teenager, including a biography of the young Hitler in 1997 .

Her novels and short stories also include some cheerful texts, such as the rise and fall of the island of Delfina or Roller and Rosary . The four most successful books by Pausewang are:

In the novel Die Wolke , the author describes the experiences of a radiation victim after a disaster in a German nuclear power plant . The novel became her top-selling work after being made into a film in 2006 . Based on the nuclear disaster in Fukushima , Pausewang later again addressed the risks of nuclear technology in her novel Long Afterwards (2012).

Literary works

  • Rio Amargo or the end of the road. DVA, Stuttgart 1959, DNB 453721745 .
  • The way to Tongay , narration, DVA, Stuttgart 1965, DNB 453721753 ; as paperback: dtv, Munich 1988, ISBN 3-423-10854-1 .
  • Plaza Fortuna (1966) (serial from December 4, 1966: Plaza Fortuna . In: Arbeiter-Zeitung . Vienna December 4, 1966, p. 6 ( - the open online archive - digitized). )
  • Bolivian Wedding (1968)
  • South America firsthand (1970) (as editor)
  • Guadalupe (1970)
  • The Abduction of Dona Agata (1971)
  • Behind the House of Aquarius (1972)
  • Rise and Fall of Delfina Island (1973)
  • And then comes Emilio (1974)
  • Carnival and Good Friday (1976)
  • Kunibert and Killewamba (1976)
  • Caldera Family Plight (1977)
  • On the Long Road (1978)
  • How huge the river comes from (1978)
  • The Maids Strike (1979)
  • Rosinkawiese (1980)
  • I'm Hungry, I'm Thirsty (1981)
  • The Freedom of Ramon Acosta (1981)
  • Stickbone and Stickbone (1982)
  • Peace doesn't come by itself (1982)
  • The Princess Jumps in the Hay (1982)
  • The last children of Schewenborn (1983) ISBN 3-473-58007-4
  • Children's Visit (1984)
  • Something Can Be Achieved (1984)
  • Who's Afraid of Robber Grapsch? (1984)
  • The Sun Festival (1985)
  • Peace Stories (1985)
  • Pepe Amado (1986)
  • Hello, dear enemy (1986)
  • A Wild Winter for Robber Grapsch (1986)
  • I have a friend in Leningrad. Overcoming Borders (1986)
  • The Cloud (1987)
  • A Home for Robbers Grapsch (1987)
  • I'm not giving up (1987)
  • The Gate to the Garden of the Zambranos (1988)
  • Across the Sea (1988)
  • The grandfather in the wagon (1988)
  • The Children of the Earth (1988)
  • Far from the Rosinkawiese (1989)
  • Two Hungry Friends (1989)
  • The Koselmühle (1989)
  • Trill im Truseltal (1989)
  • Way of the Cross for Creation (1990)
  • Beloved Rosinkawiese (1990)
  • It's all green (1991)
  • Bet that Goethe would forbid madness (1992)
  • The Big Book of the Robber Grapsch (1992)
  • Journey in August (1992)
  • The Maw (novel, 1993)
  • Red Angel Saga (1993)
  • The Egg on Tierra del Fuego (1993)
  • What else I wanted to tell you (1993)
  • The Children in the Trees (1994)
  • The lucky charm (novel, 1995)
  • Santa Claus in the Kittchen (1995)
  • The Mermaid in the Sardine Can (1995)
  • King Midas with the Donkey Ears (1995)
  • The traitor (youth literature, 1995)
  • Just Get Away From It All (1996)
  • How the people of the Rosinkawiese fared after the war (1996)
  • Reunion with Anna (1997)
  • Adi, Youth of a Dictator (1997) ISBN 3-473-58151-8
  • I'll give you one more chance, God! (1997)
  • Do you hear the river, Elin? (1998)
  • Why not (1998)
  • What do you know about me (1998)
  • Barefoot through the Big City (1999)
  • Forgotten writers of the Erich Kästner generation (1999)
  • Hello cousin Quixote (1999)
  • Roller and Rosary (2000)
  • Make your war alone! (2000)
  • You mustn't scream (2000)
  • Death of a Tourist (2000)
  • Grandma, how was Christmas earlier? (2001)
  • Uncle Hugo and the Wizard (2002)
  • Where Two Moons Shine (2002)
  • And what do i do or The Dream of Flying (2003)
  • Regine and the Medicine Man (2003)
  • The Spinach Vampire (2003)
  • I was there. Stories Against Oblivion (2004)
  • To survive! (2005) ISBN 3-473-35254-3
  • The children's and youth literature of National Socialism as an instrument of ideological influence. Song texts - short stories and novels - school books - magazines - stage works (2005), published under the passport name Gudrun Wilcke
  • The Pack (2006)
  • Insubordinate Stories (2006)
  • Getting poorer ... so what! Food for thought not only for young people (2006)
  • The Robber School (2007)
  • Permitted humor under National Socialism (1933–1945) (2007)
  • News from the robber Grapsch (2008)
  • A Wonderful Father (2009)
  • Adi - Youth of a Dictator (2009)
  • Pacrakontoj (work title: Stories of Peace ) (2009)
  • Omi, dear Omi (2009)
  • Children's visit (2009)
  • The grandma in the dragon's belly and other granny stories . Illustrated by Henning Löhlein , Gerstenberg, Hildesheim 2010, ISBN 978-3-8369-5275-0 .
  • Au revoir, until after the war (1st edition, 2012)
  • Long after that. Ravensburger, Ravensburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-473-40075-1 (40 years after a nuclear accident, written under the impression of the terrible events in Fukushima).
  • The one-handed postman or an autumn, a winter, a spring , Ravensburger, Ravensburg 2015, ISBN 978-3-473-40121-5 .
  • King Midas with the donkey ears . Illustrated by Angelika Kaufmann , Verlag Bibliothek der Provinz , Weitra 2015, ISBN 978-3-99028-504-6 .
  • The Red Aquarius (2015)
  • They Followed a Bright Star (2015)
  • Heroes' Remembrance (2015)
  • That's how it was when I was little (2016) ISBN 978-3-473-52442-6

honors and awards


  • Uwe Jahnke: Gudrun Pausewang: Life and Work (= Ravensburger paperback , volume 58352). Ravensburger, Ravensburg 2010, ISBN 978-3-473-58352-2 .
  • Peter Morris-Keitel: “Hope in Abundance.” About the experience of another world in Gudrun Pausewang's work. In: The German Quarterly 67, 1994. pp. 391-401.
  • Celia Ndzala-Ballesteros: Gudrun Pausewang, The last children of Schewenborn. Johannes Diekhans (Hrsg.) (= Schöningh school book. Volume 22299; Easy German; teaching model ). Schöningh, Paderborn 1999, ISBN 3-506-22299-6 .
  • Franz-Josef Payrhuber: Well-known authors - impressive books. What teachers know about books for children and young people and how they handle them. In: Kurt Franz (Ed.): Blickpunkt: Author. (= Series of publications of the German Academy for Children's and Youth Literature Volkach eV Volume 20) Schneider-Verlag Hohengehren, Baltmannsweiler 1996, ISBN 3-87116-495-X , pp. 58–78.
  • Jessica Rödl: Practice reading: z. B. Gudrun Pausewang. AOL-Verlag, Lichtenau 2003, ISBN 3-89111-654-3 .
  • Wilhelm Roer: A book goes to school: “The last children of Schewenborn”. Documentation of project days for this book and presentation of the political learning process of students, parents, teachers and school supervisors. AOL-Verlag, Lichtenau 1986, ISBN 3-923478-18-6 .
  • Gabriele Runge (Ed.): About Gudrun Pausewang (= Ravensburger Taschenbücher , Volume 4000; Jeans ). Maier, Ravensburg 1991, ISBN 3-473-54000-5 .
  • Rüdiger Steinlein: Auschwitz and the problems of narrative-fictional portrayal of the persecution of the Jews as a challenge to contemporary children's and youth literature. Gudrun Pausewang's Holocaust story “Reise im August”. In: Petra Josting (Ed.): Books have their story. Children's and youth literature, literature and National Socialism, German didactics. Norbert Hopster on his 60th birthday. Olms, Hildesheim u. a. 1996, ISBN 3-487-10226-9 . Pp. 177-191.
  • Susan Tebbutt: Gudrun Pausewang in context. Socially critical “Jugendliteratur”, Gudrun Pausewang and the search for utopia. (= European university publications ; series 1, German language and literature; volume 1489) Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main 1994, ISBN 3-631-47845-3 .
  • Kati Tonkin: From 'Sudetendeutsche' to 'Adlergebirgler': Gudrun Pausewang’s “Rosinkawiese” trilogy . In: David Rock, Stefan Wolff (Eds.): Coming Home to Germany? The Integration of Ethnic Germans from Central and Eastern Europe in the Federal Republic. Berghahn Books, New York / Oxford 2002, ISBN 1-57181-718-2 , pp. 199-212.

Web links

Commons : Gudrun Pausewang  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Gudrun Pausewang died at the age of 91. In: Messenger of Urschweiz . January 24, 2020, accessed March 23, 2020 .
  2. The woman behind the cloud. Interview with Gudrun Pausewang, , February 26, 2006
  3. Nordwest-Zeitung: Authors: You wrote the book on the catastrophe. March 1, 2018, accessed December 13, 2019 .
  4. “The Cloud” author is dead ,, January 24, 2020
  5. ^ "Die Wolke" author Gudrun Pausewang dies ,, published and accessed on January 24, 2020.
  6. Dissertation, published under the name Gudrun Wilcke. Published by Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main, ISBN 3-631-34588-7 .
  7. Pausewang, Gudrun , entry at the Hessian Literature Council , accessed on August 12, 2018.
  8. Frankfurt Book Fair. Youth literature prize awarded. Special award for Gudrun Pausewang , Stuttgarter Nachrichten, October 13, 2017.