Ulrich Plenzdorf

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Ulrich Plenzdorf (1993)

Ulrich Plenzdorf (German pronunciation: [ˈʊlʁɪç ˈplɛnt͡s̩ˌdɔʁf] ; 26 October 1934 – 9 August 2007) was a German author and dramatist.


Born in Berlin, Plenzdorf studied Philosophy in Leipzig, but graduated with a degree in film. He found work at DEFA.

He became famous in both East and West Germany for his socially critical work titled "Die neuen Leiden des jungen W." Written in the jargon of the GDR-youth of the 1970s, it details the tragic story of a young man and his attempt to break free from his stifling middle class environment, drawing parallels between his own life and that of the protagonist in Goethe's work The Sorrows of Young Werther (Die Leiden des jungen Werther) (1774).

From 2004 to 2007, Plenzdorf was a guest lecturer at the Deutsches Literaturinstitut in Leipzig.

He died near Berlin of undisclosed causes, aged 72.

Awards and honors[edit]


  • Die neuen Leiden des jungen W.
  • Der alte Mann, das Pferd, die Straße (1974)
  • Buridans Esel (1976) (Drama based on the novel by Günter de Bruyn)
  • Auszug (1977)
  • kein runter kein fern (1978)
  • Legende vom Glück ohne Ende (1979) (extended novel based on the film Die Legende von Paul und Paula)
  • Gutenachtgeschichte (1980)
  • Ein Tag länger als ein Leben (1986)
  • Freiheitsberaubung (1987)
  • Eins und Eins ist Uneins


Film adaptations[edit]