Volker Braun

Born on 7th of May 1939 in Dresden

1957/58 Employment as print shop worker in Dresden after failing to gain university admission upon completion of his Abitur (the equivalent of high school and two years of college, required in Germany for university admission- translator’s note).

1958/59 Mining work in the Schwarze Pumpe state holding company


Training programme as a skilled technical worker, machinist for large-scale mining equpiment in the Burghammer coal mine

1960 - 1964 University studies in philosophy in Leipzig

1964 Erich Weinert Medal of Honour; Art award of the Free German Youth

1965 Move to Berlin after completion of his university studies; marriage and birth of a daughter

1965/66 Dramatic advisor to the Berlin Ensemble

1972 - 1977 Work for the Deutsches Theater in Berlin

1970 Member of the GDR PEN Centre

1971 Heinrich Heine Award of the GDR Ministry of Culture

1973 Board member of the Writers’ Union

1977 - 1990 Work for the Berlin Ensemble

1977 Corresponding member of the Academy of the Sciences and Literature, Mainz

1980 Heinrich Mann Award of the Academy of the Arts, Berlin/GDR

1981 Lessing Award of the Minister of Culture of the GDR

1983 Member of the Academy of the Arts of the GDR

1986 Literature Award of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen

1987 Member of the Presidium of the Writers’ Union

1988 GDR National Award, First Class

1989 Berlin Award for German-language literature

1990 Membership in the Academy of the Arts Berlin (West); sojourn in the USA

1990 Member of the German Academy of Performing Arts, Frankfurt; member of the PEN Centre of the German Federal Republic (East German PEN)
1991 Advisory board member of the magazine Sinn und Form, member of the board of trustees of the Berlin Literary Workshop

1991 Schiller Memorial Award of the State of Baden-Württemberg

1993 Guest of the Villa Massimo in Rome; member of the (nationwide) Academy of the Arts, Berlin
1994 Visiting scholar of the University of Wales

1996 Member of the Saxon Academy of the Arts; Dresden Poetry Lecture at the University of Heidelberg; member of the German Academy of Language and Poetry; German Critics’ Award, Darmstadt

1998 Hans Erich Nossack Award of the Cultural Circle of German Industry in the BDI (union of German industry);  Erwin Strittmatter Award of the State of Brandenburg

1999 Brothers Grimm professorship at the University of Kassel, winter semester 1999/2000

2000 Büchner Award



Golden Key of the City of Smederevo


2006 Election as Director of the Section for Literature of the Academy of the Arts, Berlin

2008 ver.di Award for Literature for his short novel, Das Mittagsmahl (i.e., the midday meal), 2007

Volker Braun lives in Berlin

Literature in Germany

Articles and Links on Selected Topics

1989 – 10 Wall Stories

1989 – 10 Wall Stories
Stories by famous writers, illustrated by the comic-artist Henning Wagenbreth: a book, an exhibition, a multitude of events