National Socialist rule, World War II, and the postwar years figure prominently in the works of German writers who established their literary reputations between the mid-1950s and mid-1970s. A desire to tell the truth, to come to terms with Germany's guilt and to prevent the recurrence of a fascist dictatorship are also reflected in most of their works. German literature of this period is highly politicized, displaying a predominantly leftist orientation. Several of the West German writers, including Gunter Grass, Gunter Herburger, Uwe Johnson, Reinhard Lettau and Martin Walser, were members of Gruppe 47, a loose organization of authors that emphasized the political responsibility of the writer. The works of East German writers who are profiled in this DLB volume, reflect the clash between artistic freedom and the restrictions of social and political reality in a divided Germany.
39 entries include: Jurek Becker, Volker Braun, Michael Ende, Gunter Grass, Uwe Johnson, Sarah Kirsch, Siegfried Lenz, Brigitte Reimann, Martin Walser, Christa Wolf and Wolf Wondratschek.