Author Conversation A Success Story? Germany 30 Years After Reunification

Sabine Rennefanz, John Goetz Sabine Rennefanz©Sven Gatter/John Goetz©Helga Paris

Wed, 10/21/2020


Authors in Conversation: Sabine Rennefanz & John Goetz

Registration Was the fall of the Berlin Wall a stroke of good luck in Germany's history? How much progress has really been made in uniting the East and the West? While reunification has brought personal advantages to many, some groups continue to feel left behind. In terms of political representation and economic status the East still lags behind the West. Populist and antidemocratic movements are gaining strength. Two award-winning journalists who were there when the Berlin Wall fell on November 9th, 1989 and continue to write about Germany today, are taking stock: Sabine Rennefanz, author and politics writer at Berliner Zeitung and American investigative journalist John Goetz, correspondent for NDR German Public Television.

Sabine Rennefanz, 46, is Team Leader of the domestic affairs desk at Berliner Zeitung. She grew up in Eisenhüttenstadt, East Germany, and studied Political Science in Berlin and Hamburg. She’s been a reporter and foreign correspondent in London for the Berliner Zeitung since 2001 and has received multiple awards for her writing. She is the author of several books, among them Eisenkinder. Die stille Wut der Wendegeneration, Luchterhand, München 2013 and Die Mutter meiner Mutter, Roman. Luchterhand, München 2015.
John Goetz is an American investigative journalist who has been based in Berlin since 1989. His work as a freelance journalist appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Sunday Times, the Guardian, the Süddeutsche Zeitung, and in television for the CBS “Evening News” and “60 Minutes”. From 2007 to 2011, he worked at Der Spiegel and was awarded the Henri-Nannen Prize for his story about a German war crime in Afghanistan. Since 2011 he has worked for NDR German Public Television as Editor of Investigations. He is also a member of the investigative team of the Süddeutsche Zeitung. His books include Allein Gegen Kohl, Kiep & Co. (Alone Against Helmut Kohl, written together with Conny Neumann and Oliver Schröm); Die Zelle (The Cell) (together with Christian Fuchs); a book about a secret cell of Neo-Nazis who traveled through Germany killing Turks without being discovered for ten years (Rowohlt Verlag, 2012), and "Geheimer Krieg" (Secret War) (together with Christian Fuchs); a book about German cooperation with the United States in the war on terror (Rowohlt Verlag, 2013).