Archives of Suppressed Literature in the GDR
The collection of “suppressed literature“ is the result of an academic project that questioned the established canon of literary history in the GDR and aims to morally rehabilitate the authors of this suppressed literature. The archive is held by the Federal Foundation for the Reappraisal of the SED Dictatorship.
10117 Berlin Kronenstraße 5
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Name of collection
- Archive of Suppressed Literature in the GDR
Provenance and cultural activities
The collection is the result of a research project financed by the Federal Foundation for the Reappraisal of the SED Dictatorship. It contains literary documents written in the GDR and the Soviet occupation zone that "were hitherto unknown, as they were suppressed" (compare the project description on the Foundation's hompage). The project started in 2000 and was initiated by the German philologists Ines Geipel and Joachim Walter. The majority of documents in this collection was sent in by the authors themselves or relatives following several public appeals. After the project was finished in 2005, all documents were transferred to the Foundation's archive and thereby became accessible for additional literary studies and research of contemporary history. The collection's material spans the entire time period from 1945/49 until 1989 and reflects the changing conditions of cultural oppostion during 40 years of GDR history.
Description of content
The collection contains notebooks, diaries, manuscripts, so called "Schubladenliteratur" (literally "drawer literature", i.e. finished but unpublished works that had to be left in the drawer) and additional material of nearly 100 authors, who were unable to publish in the GDR or were subject to repressions because of their work. The addition of material to the collection was conditional on fullfillment of several formal criteria such as literary individuality in all genres spanning from prose over poetry to drama. Furthermore, oral history interviews of many authors are included in this collection.
- manuscripts (ego-documents, diaries, notes, letters, drafts, etc.): 1000-
- voice recordings (including oral history recordings): 10-99
Stakeholder(s) of the collection
- Buchholz, Matthias
Date of founding
Place of founding
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Important events in the history of the collection
- visits by appointments
Author(s) of this page
- Sonnenberg, Uwe
Buchholz, Matthias , interview by Sonnenberg, Uwe, August 30, 2016. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection
Last edited on: 2020-03-04 11:19:43