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Key Postwar German Literary Publication

After Alfred Andersch and Hans Werner Richter were captured in Italy toward the end of the Second World War, they were sent to a prison camp in Rhode Island, where they worked on a publication directed at the “re-education” of German prisoners of war. When they returned to Germany in 1946, they revived it as Der Ruf – unabhängige Blätter der jungen Generation (same title with a different subtitle, reflecting their much broader literary ambitions). Shields Library is fortunate enough to own most of the issues of this publication, shelved at AP30 .R95 (the library has Volume 1, number 1 to Volume 3, number 18, 1946-1948). For additional details, see the entries for Andersch and Richter in the Neue deutsche Biographie, shelved in Shields, Humanities/Social Sciences Reference, DD85 .N4;  and  the entry for Richter in The Encyclopedia of Contermporary German Culture, shelved nearby at DD290.26 .E53 1999.

Although this publication was extremely successful,  it was published only under the official imprimatur and license of the U.S. Military Authority, under terms established during the Occupation during the early period just after the war.   Not long after the launch,  the U.S. authority–dissatisfied with the editors’ political orientations–abruptly cancelled the publication’s license, thus terminating it.   Andersch and Richter became, in connection with Der Ruf, very well-known, but they eventually became even better-known as founding spirits of  the “Gruppe 47,” a powerful organization of postwar German writers.

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