Heinz G. Konsalik

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Heinz G. Konsalik

Heinz G. Konsalik, pseudonym of Heinz Günther (May 28, 1921 – October 2, 1999) was a German novelist. Konsalik was his mother's maiden name.[1]

During the Second World War he was a war correspondent, which provided many experiences for his novels.[2]

Many of his books deal with war and showed the German human side of things as experienced by their soldiers and families at home, for instance Das geschenkte Gesicht (The bestowed face) which deals with a German soldier's recovery after his sledge ran over an anti-personnel mine and destroyed his face, and how this affected his relationship with his wife at home. It places no judgment on the German position in the war and simply deals with human beings in often desperate situations, doing what they were forced to do under German military law. Der Arzt von Stalingrad (The Doctor of Stalingrad) made him famous and was adapted as a movie in 1958. Some 83 million copies sold of his 155 novels made him the most popular German novelist of the postwar era and many of his novels were translated and sold through book clubs. He is buried in Cologne.

Life and work in the Nazi era[edit]

At the age of 16, Günther wrote feature articles for Cologne newspapers. In 1938 he published what he considered his “first usable poem.”[3] On August 31, 1939, he completed the heroic tragedy Der Geuse (“The Beggar”) as a senior secondary student. He then joined the Hitler Youth, Area 11, Middle Rhine Valley. In December 1939 he started working for the Gestapo, the Nazi secret police.[4] His next drama, which he completed in March 1940, was called Gutenberg. In the same year Günther sought membership in the Nazi writer's union, the Reich Chamber of Writers (Reichsschrifttumskammer) but was initially rejected due to the limited scope of his literary work. Later, however, having met the requirements, he received the chamber membership required for regular publication of literary works.[3]

After graduating from the Humboldt-Gymnasium in Cologne, which required membership in the Nazi party and the teaching of its discredited but then pervasive racial theories, he studied medicine and later switched to theatre studies, literary history and German literature. During World War II he became a war correspondent in France and later came to the Eastern Front as a soldier, where he suffered a serious arm wound at Smolensk in the Soviet Union.[5] He was later to describe his wartime experiences in Russia as a “monstrous school.”[6]

Selected works[edit]

  • Strike Force Ten
  • Agenten kennen kein Pardon
  • Alarm! Das Weiberschiff
  • Aus dem Nichts ein neues Leben
  • Bluthochzeit in Prag
  • Das Bernsteinzimmer
  • Das geschenkte Gesicht
  • Das Herz der 6. Armee
  • The Doctor of Stalingrad (1956)
  • Der Himmel über Kasachstan
  • Der Leibarzt der Zarin
  • Der letzte Karpatenwolf
  • Der Mann, der sein Leben vergaß
  • Der rostende Ruhm
  • Der Wüstendoktor
  • Des Sieges bittere Tränen
  • Die dunkle Seite des Ruhms
  • Die Rollbahn
  • Die schweigenden Kanäle
  • Die strahlenden Hände
  • Die Verdammten der Taiga
  • Dr. med. Erika Werner
  • Ein Komet fällt vom Himmel
  • Ein Kreuz in Sibirien
  • Ein Sommer mit Danica
  • Ein toter Taucher nimmt kein Gold
  • Eine Urwaldgöttin darf nicht weinen
  • Engel der Vergessenen
  • Frauenbataillon
  • Fronttheater
  • Ich beantrage Todesstrafe
  • Liebe am Don
  • Liebesnächte in der Taiga
  • Ninotschka, die Herrin der Taiga
  • Privatklinik
  • Schicksal aus zweiter Hand
  • Sie fielen vom Himmel
  • Strafbataillon 999
  • Viele Mütter heißen Anita
  • Wen die schwarze Göttin ruft
  • Wer stirbt schon gerne unter Palmen
  • Zerstörter Traum vom Ruhm
  • Zum Nachtisch wilde Früchte
  • Das Doppelspiel

Filmography[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/1999/10/04/arts/heinz-g-konsalik-78-german-novelist.html
  2. ^ p. 169 Weidhaas, Peter; Gossage, Carolyn & Wright, Wendy A. A History of the Frankfurt Book Fair Dundurn Press Ltd., 2007
  3. ^ a b Otto Koehler: Gestapomann Konsalik. In: Die Zeit, issue 32/1996, 2 August 1996.
  4. ^ Matthias Harder: Erfahrung Krieg: Zur Darstellung des Zweiten Weltkrieges in den Romanen von Heinz G. Konsalik (“War experience: Depicting the Second World War in the novels of Heinz G. Konsalik”. Königshausen & Neumann, S. 41.
  5. ^ Gunar Ortlepp: Urwaldgöttin darf nicht weinen (“A jungle goddess mustn't cry”) in Der Spiegel, 1976:50, pp. 219-221, 6 December 1976.
  6. ^ Die Ein-Mann-Traumfabrik – Porträt des Bestseller-Autors Heinz G. Konsalik (“One-man dream factory: Portrait of the best-selling author Heinz G. Konsalik”) in Die Zeit, 3 October 1980

External links[edit]