Wolfgang Borchert

© Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg

Wolfgang Borchert (1921-1947) was a German writer who composed his first poems at the age of 15. He dropped out of his bookselling apprenticeship because he was more interested in a career as an actor on stage. However, his first engagement was of short duration as in 1941 he was drafted by the Wehrmacht and sent off to the Eastern front. Upon his return after the end of the war he had contracted a liver disease of which he died two years later. The first performance of his drama “The Man Outside” took place one day after his demise in Hamburg.
Given his early death, Borchert’s œuvre is not voluminous and consists of short stories, poems, letters and one drama. Still, he is one of the best known representatives of German “Trümmerliteratur” (literally: “rubble literature”).