Author. Nobel Prize Laureate. He was one of the post-World War II German writers who explored the guilt coming from the memories of the Holocaust, the Nazi era, and the war, dubbed "rubble literature". He was part of the writers circle "Group 47". His hometown of Cologne had a deep influence on his work. He was Catholic, like his hometown, and shared its working man's humor and egalitarianism. His family opposed Nazism and he did not join the Hitler Youth. He studied German at the University of Cologne but was drafted into the Wehrmacht and served in France and the Eastern Front and was held by the Americans in April 1945 as a POW. After the war, he turned to writing and is one of Germany's best known authors, with translations of his work into more than 30 languages. He was awarded the Georg Büchner Prize in 1967 and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1972 and was president of PEN International from 1972 to 1973. Among his best known works are Billiards at Half-Nine, Group Portrait with Lady, and the Lost Honor of Katharina Blum. The latter was made into a German film in 1975 and a US TV movie in 1984.
Bio by: Kenneth Gilbert
Anna Maria Cech Böll