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|Heinrich Theodor Böll|
Heinrich Böll (1981)
December 21, 1917|
Cologne, German Empire
|Died||July 16, 1985
Langenbroich, North Rhine-Westphalia, West Germany
Georg Büchner Prize
Heinrich Theodor Böll (December 21, 1917 – July 16, 1985) was one of Germany's foremost post-World War II writers. Böll was awarded the Georg Büchner Prize in 1967 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1972.
Böll was born in Cologne, Germany, to a Catholic, pacifist family that later opposed the rise of Nazism. He refused to join the Hitler Youth during the 1930s. He was apprenticed to a bookseller before studying German at the University of Cologne. Conscripted into the Wehrmacht, he served in France, Romania, Hungary and the Soviet Union, and was wounded four times before being captured by Americans in April 1945 and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.
Böll became a full-time writer at the age of 30. His first novel, Der Zug war pünktlich (The Train Was on Time), was published in 1949. Many other novels, short stories, radio plays and essay collections followed, and in 1972 he received the Nobel Prize for Literature. He was the first German-born author to receive this award since Nelly Sachs in 1966.
Böll was President of PEN International, the worldwide association of writers and the oldest human rights organisation, between 1972-1973.
His work has been translated into more than 30 languages, and he remains one of Germany's most widely read authors. His best-known works are Billiards at Half-past Nine, Und sagte kein einziges Wort, Das Brot der frühen Jahre, The Clown, Group Portrait with Lady, The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum, and The Safety Net.
Böll was deeply rooted in his hometown of Cologne, with its strong Roman Catholicism and its rather rough and drastic sense of humour. In the immediate post-war period, he was preoccupied with memories of the War and the effect it had—materially and psychologically—on the lives of ordinary people. He made them the heroes in his writing.
His villains are the figures of authority in government, business, and in the Church, whom he castigates, sometimes humorously, sometimes acidly, for what he perceived as their conformism, lack of courage, self-satisfied attitude and abuse of power. His simple style made him a favourite for German-language textbooks in Germany and abroad.
Importance of Cologne 
He was deeply affected by the Nazis' takeover of Cologne, as they essentially exiled him in his own town. Additionally, the destruction of Cologne as a result of the Allied bombing during World War II scarred him for life; he described the aftermath of the bombing in The Silent Angel. Architecturally, the newly-rebuilt Cologne, prosperous once more, left him indifferent. (Böll seemed to be a pupil of William Morris – he let it be known that he would have preferred Cologne Cathedral to have been left unfinished, with the 14th-century wooden crane at the top, as it had stood in 1848). Throughout his life, he remained in close contact with the citizens of Cologne, rich and poor. When he was in hospital, the nurses often complained about the "low-life" people who came to see their friend Heinrich Böll.
His works have been dubbed trümmerliteratur (the literature of the rubble). He was a leader of the German writers who tried to come to grips with the memory of World War II, the Nazis, and the Holocaust and the guilt that came with them. He lived with his wife in Cologne and in the Eifel region. However, he also spent time on Achill Island off the west coast of Ireland. His cottage there is now used as a guesthouse for international and Irish artists. He recorded some of his experiences in Ireland in his book Irisches Tagebuch (Irish Journal).
He was the president of the then West German P.E.N. and subsequently of the International P.E.N. organizations. He travelled frequently as a representative of the new, democratic Germany. His appearance and attitude were in complete contrast to the boastful, aggressive type of German which had become infamous all over the world during Hitler's rule. Böll was particularly successful in Eastern Europe, as he seemed to portray the dark side of capitalism in his books; his books were sold by the millions in the Soviet Union alone.
When Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was expelled from the Soviet Union, he first took refuge in Heinrich Böll's Eifel cottage. In 1976, Böll demonstratively left the Catholic church, "without falling away from the faith".
Heinrich Böll died in 1985 at the age of 67. His memory lives on, among other places, at the Heinrich Böll Foundation. A special Heinrich Böll Archive was set up in the Cologne Library to house his personal papers, bought from his family, but much of the material was damaged, possibly irreparably, when the building collapsed in March 2009.
Selected bibliography 
- (1949) Der Zug war pünktlich; English translation: The Train Was on Time
- (1950) Wanderer, kommst du nach Spa…; (The title story in the collection is a truncation of Schiller's German translation of Simonides of Ceos' epigram commemorating the Spartans who fell in the Battle of Thermopylae; "Stranger, announce to the Spartans that here / We lie, having fulfilled their orders" which reflects the anti-war theme of the collection).
- (1951) Die schwarzen Schafe; English translation: Black Sheep
- (1951) Nicht nur zur Weihnachtszeit; English translation: Christmas Not Just Once a Year
- (1951) Wo warst du, Adam?; English translation: And where were you, Adam?
- (1952) Die Waage der Baleks; English translation: The Balek Scales
- (1953) Und sagte kein einziges Wort; English translation: And Never Said a Word
- (1954) Haus ohne Hüter; English translation: House without Guardians
- (1955) Das Brot der frühen Jahre; English translation: The Bread of Those Early Years
- (1957) Irisches Tagebuch; English translation: Irish Journal
- (1957) Die Spurlosen; English translation: Missing Persons
- (1958) Doktor Murkes gesammeltes Schweigen; English translation: Murke's Collected Silences (1963)
- (1959) Billard um halb zehn; English translation: Billiards at Half-past Nine
- (1962) Ein Schluck Erde
- (1963) Ansichten eines Clowns; English translation: The Clown
- (1963) Anekdote zur Senkung der Arbeitsmoral; English translation: Anecdote to the Lowering of Productivity
- (1964) Entfernung von der Truppe; English translation: Absent Without Leave
- (1966) Ende einer Dienstfahrt; English translation: End of a Mission
- (1971) Gruppenbild mit Dame; English translation: Group Portrait with Lady
- (1974) Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum; English translation: The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum
- (1979) Du fährst zu oft nach Heidelberg und andere Erzählungen ; You go to Heidelberg too often (18 short stories)
- (1979) Fürsorgliche Belagerung; English translation: The Safety Net
- (1981) Was soll aus dem Jungen bloß werden? Oder: Irgendwas mit Büchern; English translation: What's to Become of the Boy? (autobiography about Böll's school years 1933–1937)
- (1982) Vermintes Gelände
- (1982) Das Vermächtnis; English translation: A Soldier's Legacy (written 1948)
- (1983) Die Verwundung und andere frühe Erzählungen; English translation: The Casualty (11 unpublished stories from 1947–1952)
- (1985) Frauen vor Flusslandschaft; English translation: Women in a River Landscape (posthumous)
- (1986) The Stories of Heinrich Böll (U.S. release)
- (1992) Der Engel schwieg; English translation: The Silent Angel (written 1949/50)
- (1995) Der blasse Hund (unpublished stories from 1937 & 1946–1952)
- (2002) Kreuz ohne Liebe (written 1946–1947)
- (2004) Am Rande der Kirche (written 1938)
- (2011) The Collected Stories (reissues of translations, U.S. release)
- Das harte Leben (The Hard Life, Brian O'Nolan), translated by Heinrich Böll, Hamburg, Nannen, 1966, 79.
See also 
- Conard 1992, p. xviii.
- Michael H. KATER; Michael H Kater (30 April 2006). Hitler Youth. Harvard University Press. pp. 24–. ISBN 978-0-674-01991-1. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
- Conard 1992, pp. xvi–xvii.
- Peter Bruhn and Henry Glade:Heinrich Böll in der Sowjetunion, 1952–1979 Einführung in die sowjetische Böll-Rezeption und Bibliographie der in der UdSSR in russischer Sprache erschienenen Schriften von und über Heinrich Böll, Berlin 1980, ISBN 3-503-01617-1
- „vom Glauben abgefallen“
- Contemporary German fiction writers Wolfgang Elfe, James N. Hardin – 1988 "They also found fault with his story "Du fahrst zu oft nach Heidelberg" (You Go to Heidelberg Too Often, 1977), an indictment of the Berufsverbot (the law that keeps suspected Communists out of government jobs)."
- Heinz Ludwig Arnold, ed. (1982). Heinrich Böll. Munich.
- Balzer, Bernd (1997). Das literarische Werk Heinrich Bölls. Kommentare und Interpretationen. Munich.
- Werner Bellmann, ed. (1995). Das Werk Heinrich Bölls. Bibliographie mit Studien zum Frühwerk. Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag.
- Werner Bellmann, ed. (2000). Heinrich Böll, Romane und Erzählungen. Interpretationen. Stuttgart: Reclam.
- Hanno Beth (Ed.): Heinrich Böll. Eine Einführung in das Gesamtwerk in Einzelinterpretationen. 2., überarbeitete und erweiterte Auflage. Königstein i.Ts. 1980.
- Alfred Böll: Bilder einer deutschen Familie. Die Bölls. Gustav Lübbe, Bergisch Gladbach 1981.
- Viktor Böll, Markus Schäfer and Jochen Schubert: Heinrich Böll. dtv, Munich, 2002 (dtv portrait).
- Lucia Borghese: Invito alla lettura di Heinrich Böll. Mursia, Milan 1980.
- Michael Butler (Ed.): The Narrative Fiction of Heinrich Böll. Social conscience and literary achievement. Cambridge 1994.
- Conard, Robert C. (1992). Understanding Heinrich Böll. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.
- Frank Finlay: On the Rationality of Poetry: Heinrich Böll‘s Aesthetic Thinking. Rodopi, Amsterdam/Atlanta 1996.
- Erhard Friedrichsmeyer: Die satirische Kurzprosa Heinrich Bölls. Chapel Hill 1981.
- Lawrence F. Glatz: Heinrich Böll als Moralist. Peter Lang, New York 1999.
- Christine Hummel: Intertextualität im Werk Heinrich Bölls. Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, Trier 2002.
- Manfred Jurgensen (Ed.): Böll. Untersuchungen zum Werk. Francke, Bern/Munich 1975.
- Christian Linder: Heinrich Böll. Leben & Schreiben 1917–1985. Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne 1986.
- Reich-Ranicki, Marcel (1986). Mehr als ein Dichter: über Heinrich Böll (in German). Cologne: Kiepenheuer & Witsch.
- James H. Reid: Heinrich Böll. A German for His Time. Berg Publishers, Oxford/New York/Hamburg 1988. – German: Heinrich Böll. Ein Zeuge seiner Zeit. dtv, Munich 1991.
- Klaus Schröter: Heinrich Böll. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1987 (Rowohlts Monographien).
- Jochen Vogt: Heinrich Böll. 2. Auflage. Beck, Munich 1987.
- Heinrich Vormweg: Der andere Deutsche. Heinrich Böll. Eine Biographie. Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne 2002.
- Sebald, W.G. (1999). Luftkrieg und Literatur: Mit einem Essay zu Alfred Andersch [On the Natural History of Destruction] (in German).
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- Heinrich Böll Foundation (Heinrich Böll Stiftung)
- The Essential Heinrich Boll published by Melville House Publishing in eight volumes.
- The Heinrich Böll Page
- Nobel Archive: Böll, 1972
- A. Leslie Wilson (Spring 1983). "Heinrich Boll, The Art of Fiction No. 74". Paris Review.
- Uni Wuppertal
- Heinrich Böll Website by Dr. Lawrence Glatz