Erwin Wickert

The death of Erwin Wickert, aged 93, was reported recently. Nearly all the German papers gave the impression that his career started in 1955, thus Der Tagesspiegel has more, and so does Wikipedia.

Last year I bought his Mut und Übermut. Geschichten aus meinem Leben. I got it secondhand from It cost 80 eurocents – the postage was 1.95. This was on a tip from Trevor, who had encountered Wickert in another incarnation.

It’s interesting to read excerpts from a life spanning the Nazi period. There’s period as an exchange student in the USA in 1935, when it was still isolationist, including a talk with a professor of politics comparing the style of the USA and Nazi Germany; crossing the country on goods trains with the hobos (with photos); in Japan in October 1945, an encounter with an American soldier who, on a six-month course for officers, had stayed in the same room Wickert had had at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

I didn’t find an English obituary of any length, but Dickinson College a couple of years ago linked to a Deutsche Welle article in English, ‘There is Good and Evil in Every Nation’ on Wickert and John Rabe.

LATER NOTE: An interesting article on Wickert by Sherri Kimmel in the Dickinson Magazine, the magazine of the college Wickert attended in the USA, based on her interviews of him at his home in Germany in recent years (see comments).

6 thoughts on “Erwin Wickert

  1. It must be terribly annoying to write a reasonably forthcoming autobiography from which it is perfectly clear that the first half of your life was infinitely more interesting than the second, and then to see from your cloud the obituarists suffer a collective attack of nerves and drop Part I altogether.

  2. The last post looks really odd: Not only do they have the doubled sun issue you mentioned, the type setting also looks somewhat irregular.
    It rather looks like they put an additional space in “Leb ensqualit

    • Yes, I overlooked that. Either a typo or a mistake must have been corrected.

      The FDP had a poster in Nuremberg about education with a grammar mistake in it, apparently, but I missed it. And the Gr

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