Non-fiction – society, biography, and literary and cultural history

Wolf Biermann
Warte nicht auf bessere Zeiten. Die Autobiographie

© Propyläen Verlag, Berlin, 2016 Wolf Biermann: Warte nicht auf bessere Zeiten. Die Autobiographie © Propyläen Verlag, Berlin, 2016Throughout his life, Wolf Biermann, who is soon to turn eighty, always sought the limelight - and found it when it was being switched off. In innumerable statements, comments, essays and interviews, he willingly and comprehensively gave information about every aspect of his career. It is also self-evident that only half of him is still a human being and that the other half is already a myth. He is a poet whose songs and unrelenting attitude, while not bringing down the GDR, did considerably destabilise it. The direct social and political effect exerted by his works and his personality is probably unique in German culture, at least in the twentieth century. His poetic achievement and his moral status are so indisputable that one is tired, even fed up of underlining them again. History has shown Wolf Biermann to be a historical winner per excellence, but also a figure who no longer appears to conceal any mysteries and who therefore appears to many to have lost his aura. (…)
Wolf Biermann told Jean-Paul Sartre his “family story in the Nazi era” and his “existence as an enemy of the GDR” more than 35 years ago. He passes on to us these two closely intertwined parts of his life on more than 500 pages. They read like a final obituary to a country which, despite all the disasters and tragedies, he believed to be the better German half-state almost until its demise.

Jochen Hieber: „Halb Mensch, halb Mythos“
© Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 9 October 2016

Wolf Biermann
Warte nicht auf bessere Zeiten. Die Autobiographie
Propyläen Verlag, Berlin, 2016
ISBN 978-3-5490-7473-2
576 pages


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