Malte Herwig

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Malte Herwig (born 2 October 1972) is a German-born author, journalist, and literary critic. His articles have appeared widely in U.S., British and German publications, including The New York Times, The Observer, Vanity Fair, Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. He studied German Literature, History and Politics at the universities of Oxford, Harvard, and Mainz, and is a former Fellow of Merton College, Oxford. In 2008, Herwig was the first to publish some of Vladimir Nabokov's original index cards from the author's last unfinished novel The Original of Laura. In the accompanying article, Herwig concluded that "Laura", although fragmentary, was "vintage Nabokov".[1] He is the author of several books, among them a biography of Austrian poet Peter Handke and a study of the greatest Nazi cover-up in post-war Germany, "Die Flakhelfer", which will be published in English in 2014.

Herwig is also known as an interviewer, whose empathetic but also sometimes confrontational style with stars like Michael Douglas, Charlotte Rampling and Rupert Everett has won acclaim. Douglas once chided Herwig for his "cheeky questions", when the journalist asked him if he'd ever have homosexual experiences. Herwig also conducted interviews with heads of government like former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt and nobel laureates like German writer Günter Grass.

Herwig was the only journalist to get an interview with former SS-Captain Erich Priebke, which he conducted in Priebke's flat in Rome shortly before the latter's death on 11 October 2013.[2] Referring to Hannah Arendt’s famous phrase about the Nazis when she covered the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Israel, the New York Times quoted Herwig as saying he wanted to use “the last chance to investigate that supposed banality of evil with a living person.”.[3] Sensationally, the 100-year-old Priebke told Herwig he had renounced national socialism and deeply regretted his involvement in war crimes.



  1. ^ Malte Herwig, "Vladimir Nabokov: Sein letztes Spiel", Die Zeit, 14 August 2008.
  2. ^ Malte Herwig, "Der letzte Fall", Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin 5 October 2013.
  3. ^ "" Erich Priebke, Nazi Who Carried Out Massacre of 335 Italians, Dies at 100 "The New York Times" 11 October 2013

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