Hans Joachim Schädlich

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Hans Joachim Schädlich. Volkshochschule Krefeld, September 17, 2012. Reading from Sire, I'm in a hurry

Hans Joachim Schädlich (born October 8, 1935 in Reichenbach im Vogtland ) is a German writer . His first texts were written in the GDR , but could not appear there because of their criticism of social conditions. The West German Rowohlt Verlag published his debut volume, Versuche Nahe, in 1977 . In the same year, Schädlich moved to the Federal Republic. His first novel Tallhover was published there in 1986 . After reunification , Schädlich learned in 1992 that his brother had been spying on for many years on behalf of the Ministry of State Security . In response, he wrote the story The Case with B. For his works, he was awarded numerous German literary prizes.


Hans Joachim Schädlich is the son of a businessman. His older brother was the historian Karlheinz Schädlich , his younger sister is the physician Hannelore Dege . Schadlich attended elementary school in Reichenbach and higher schools in Bad Saarow and Templin . From 1954 to 1959 he studied German and linguistics at the Humboldt University in Berlin and at the University of Leipzig . In 1960 he was in Leipzig with a linguistic work ( phonology Obervogtländischen ) PhD . From 1959 to 1976 he was a research assistant at the Academy of Sciences of the GDR in East Berlin .

At the end of the 1960s, Schädlich began writing texts, the high literary quality of which was appreciated by editors, but whose publication was prevented by the GDR censorship because of the open criticism that Schadlich had in his work on the conditions in his country. But also "the editors of the Hinstorff Verlag have to put up with the accusation of having been involved in the attrition tactics," says Krista Maria Schädlich, his wife at the time, after reviewing his extensive, always hesitant correspondence with the publisher. During these years, Schadenlich's only literary public became private meetings of East and West German writers in East Berlin, initiated by Günter Grass and in which Schädlich participated from 1974 onwards.

After Schadlich had signed the protest by GDR authors against Wolf Biermann's expatriation in December 1976 , Schädlich was relieved of his post at the East Berlin Academy; he was also exposed to increasing harassment from government agencies. He could only earn his living as a freelance translator . At the Ministry for State Security from 1976 an operational process called "Pest" was running against harmful.

In August 1977, Schadlich's texts critical of the regime appeared in the West German Rowohlt Verlag under the title Attempted Proximity, mediated by Grass . The volume was enthusiastically received by West German literary criticism and established Schadenlich's high reputation as an author. In the GDR the pressure on him grew even stronger; on the part of the writers' association of the GDR , he was accused of " hatred of the state " and of "degrading" the GDR. In December 1977, Schädlich's application to leave the country was granted and he and his family were able to move to the Federal Republic of Germany . There he lived first in Hamburg and in Dahlenburg ; since 1979 he has been based in West Berlin .

The first years in the Federal Republic were marked, according to Schädlich, by “problems of uprooting and orientation” and breaks in literary production. Schadlich's first prose collection Irgendlich somehow , which was published in the West and published in 1984, also dealt with his change between the two German states. In 1986, Schädlich's first novel Tallhover followed , the fictional biography of a political police officer through all German states from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century. In the second novel Schott , the search for a counterpart turns into a linguistic game with fiction and possibilities. It was published in 1992, Ruth Klüger called it a "masterpiece".

Hans Joachim Schädlich (2010)

At the beginning of 1992, Schädlich was one of the first artists and civil rights activists persecuted in the GDR to inspect their Stasi files in the newly established Gauck authority . From the records, Schädlich learned that his older brother Karlheinz, under the code name IM "Schäfer" , had collected information and prepared reports as an unofficial employee of the Ministry for State Security about him and other people, including Günter Grass. Harmful the relationship worked with his brother in the same year in the story The thing with B. on.

In 1995, at the invitation of Wulf Segebrecht , Schädlich held the Bamberg poetry professorship , which resulted in a volume with information from and about Hans Joachim Schädlich .

Hans Joachim Schädlich is a member of the German Academy for Language and Poetry in Darmstadt . He resigned from the PEN Center Germany in 1996 in the course of the dispute over the unification of the East and West sections together with other GDR dissidents .

In his 2018 book, Roman Felix and Felka, about the artist couple Felix Nussbaum and Felka Platek, saw Schadenlich not only as a “complaint against the Nazi regime ”, but also as a “complaint against anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish agitation in the German present”.

Harmful is the father of a son and two daughters. One of them is the curator Anna Schädlich, the other the writer Susanne Schädlich , who wrote her family history in 2009 in the autobiographical memoir Immer wieder December. The West, the Stasi, the uncle and I published.

Schadlich's legacy is in the German Literature Archive Marbach . Parts of it can be seen in the permanent exhibition of the Modern Literature Museum in Marbach.


Hans Joachim Schädlich does not regard himself as part of GDR literature , even if it is partly discussed in its context. Wolfgang Emmerich assessed that Schädlich never had to break away from an ideological or aesthetic stamping of the GDR, but rather "was lucid, linguistically powerful, sovereign from the start".

Theo Buck saw his writing career from Attempted Proximity to Schott as a way from approach to distancing. The first volume of stories tries to establish a proximity to the social realities in the GDR. He presents exemplary facts and clarifies them under a meticulous, penetrating look until new, enlightening or unmasking findings arise for the reader. Since the first novel Tallhover a stronger fictionality has found its way into Schädlich's work. At the same time, greater narrative fantasy and irony are enabled by the author's greater distance from his subject, including an artificial main character. In Schott, Schädlich pushes the process of distancing further, introducing the level of a commenting author between the protagonist and the reader and using the main character to play a linguistic game with the possibilities.

According to Walter Hinck, Schädlich is rarely interested in the psychological processes in his protagonists. He hardly depicts inner mental processes in which he is related to Alfred Döblin or Bertolt Brecht . Schadlich's language does not aim to be easy to understand. It builds in resistance for the reader, the familiar has become strange through his gaze, must first be reorganized by the reader. Harmful tend to circumscribe and parabolic alienations. One of the criticisms in the GDR of Schädlich's texts was that their content was too heavily encrypted.

In his essay, Literature and Resistance, Schädlich himself described the resilience of literature: “That can be the insistence on a substance, an object that resists easy expression. So the resistance against - depending on the circumstances - fashionable or permissive [...] That can be the resistance of the linguistic form against cheap consumption, a resistance which is achieved through work on the language. "



Literary works

Linguistic publications

  • Investigations into the German sentence intonation. Together with Alexander W. Isachenko . Berlin 1964.
  • Phonology of the Eastern Vogtland. Berlin 1966.
  • For the phonetic and phonological investigation of prosodic features. Together with Heinrich Eras and John Pheby. Berlin 1969.
  • Phonological studies on language stratification. Berlin 1973.



  • Paul Biegel : The gardens of Dorr. Berlin 1973.
  • Marc Braet : My ship with endless flags. Berlin 1980.
  • Jaap ter Haar : Keep life dear. Munich 1980.
  • Jaap ter Haar: I feel the sun on my face. Berlin 1977.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Hans Joachim Schädlich: on file. Rowohlt-Berlin-Verlag, Berlin 1992, ISBN 3-87134-057-X , p. 284.
  2. Krista Maria Schädlich: About the attempt to prevent an author and the reconstruction of a novel. In: Hans Joachim Schädlich: Catt. A fragment. P. 65.
  3. ^ Hans Joachim Schädlich: Self-introduction. In: Wulf Segebrecht (Ed.): Information from and about Hans Joachim Schädlich. P. 6.
  4. ^ Hans Joachim Schädlich: Self-introduction. In: Wulf Segebrecht (Ed.): Information from and about Hans Joachim Schädlich. Pp. 6-7.
  5. Wolfgang Müller: “I'm just providing a description. Make what you want out of it. ”On Hans Joachim Schädlich's novel“ Schott ”. In: Hans-Joachim Schädlich - Two studies and one conversation . Issue 13 (February 1999) of the Institute for Cultural Studies in Germany at the University of Bremen , p. 63 (pdf).
  6. ^ Wulf Segebrecht (Ed.): Information from and about Hans Joachim Schädlich. Footnotes to literature 32. Bamberg 1995. ISSN  0723-2950 .
  7. Wolfgang Müller: "About dirt, politics and literature" - On the political and aesthetic positions of Hans Joachim Schädlich after the fall of the Berlin Wall. In: Hans-Joachim Schädlich - Two studies and one conversation . Issue 13 (February 1999) of the Institute for Cultural Studies in Germany at the University of Bremen, p. 11 (pdf).
  8. Andrea Gerk: “The story is also an indictment against agitation today” . In: Deutschlandfunk Kultur from January 25, 2018.
  9. Betrayed by the uncle. Susanne Schädlich and her memory book “Always December”. Susanne Schädlich in conversation with Ulrike Timm on Deutschlandradio Kultur on March 2, 2009.
  10. The DLA's inventory of Hans Joachim Schädlich.
  11. ^ Wolfgang Emmerich: Foreword . In: Hans-Joachim Schädlich - Two studies and one conversation . Issue 13 (February 1999) of the Institute for Cultural Studies in Germany at the University of Bremen, p. 4 (pdf).
  12. Theo Buck : From "attempted closeness" to "attempted distance". Harmful narrative path to "freedom in history" . In: Heinz Ludwig Arnold (Ed.): Hans Joachim Schädlich. Pp. 17-29.
  13. Walter Hinck: With language fantasy against the trauma. Hans Joachim Schädlich. The writer and his work . In: Wulf Segebrecht (Ed.): Information from and about Hans Joachim Schädlich. Pp. 35, 39.
  14. ^ Hans Joachim Schädlich: Literature and Resistance . In: The other look. Essays, speeches and conversations . Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 2005, ISBN 3-499-23945-0 , p. 13.
  15. Message  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. from the Evangelical Press Service (epd) , accessed on October 8, 2011.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.epd.de  
  16. ↑ Award ceremony on the Day of German Unity (report on the website of the Federal President)