Jana Simon

Because we are different – the story of Felix S.

Jana Simon
Berlin: Rowohlt, 2002
S. 240
ISBN 3-87134-439-7
Paperback edition: Rowohlt Taschenbuch, 2003

In "Denn wir sind anders" Jana Simon tells the story of Felix S., a member of the generation of "Wende" children who subsequently becomes a victim of his time. Felix S. lives a real double life – on the one hand he is a true hooligan and on the other hand he is an intellectual who wants to study Psychology and discuss apartheid with his grandparents.

Felix was born in Berlin in 1970 and as a coloured person deemed to be an outsider from the outset. The small, skinny boy is often beaten up by other children. At the age of 13 he learns karate and trains like crazy in order never to be vulnerable again. After the fall of the wall Felix becomes the German kickboxing champion. He earns a living as a bouncer and gets involved in the drug scene. Although he hangs around with the hooligans and gets involved in fights, he loves the music of Bach, reads Freud and meditates for several hours each day.

He is arrested in November 1999. During a sensational trial in August 2000 he is sentenced to four and a half years imprisonment for dealing in drugs. The judgment is uncommonly harsh as it is directed at the "hooligan cartels" of East Berlin. Shortly afterwards Felix commits suicide while in prison.

    Jana Simon:
    Denn wir sind anders - Die Geschichte des Felix S.
    (Because we are different – the story of Felix S.)

    Journalist Jana Simon's first book tells the story of how Felix's life takes an ugly turn and how it ends after a mere 30 years. She gives a credible portrayal of his split personality and gets down to the essence of his nature.More ...