Jurek Becker

Jurek Becker (* 30. September 1937 in Łódź, Poland; † 14. March 1997 in Sieseby) was a German writer, film script author and a GDR - Dissident.

Table of contents


childhood and youth

Jurek Becker was born in Łódź in Poland. Its date of birth was arbitrarily selected,since its father in the Ghetto had made it older, in order to protect it the Deportation. Later it did not remember any longer correct date of birth. Jurek Becker was probable some years younger than everywhere is registered.

Its parents were Jews and its father max of Becker (1900-1972), which originally from Bavaria originated, worked as an employee and later than attorney in a textile mill. 1939 became Jurek Becker as well as his parents passenger of the Ghettos of Łódź. At the age of five yearshe, separately from its parents, came first into the KZ Ravensbrück and later according to Saxonia living. When the war was to end, its father, who had survived in Auschwitz, regained it with the help of an American search organization. Its nut/mother as well asapproximately 20 further family members had been killed. It had hardly memories of it. An aunt, who had fled before the invasion of the Germans into the USA, Jurek and its father were the only survivors of the family.

Up to this timeJurek Becker had hardly memories. He explained himself this by the fact that he a large part displaced or had forgotten, and that the days were in the camp so grey and eventless that he had not lived, but had not only existed. Alsoits father did not help it to find the memories again:

“My father did after the war relatively few to keep I even say memories in me awake to delete it much did to erase the memories. IfI quite remember, in our discussions the then direct past never a role played, on the contrary, he my questions abgewimmelt - probably because he was more affected by it as I. “

For this reason Jurek Becker tried later alsoTo find assistance of searches themselves something over the past out and to process the results in stories:

“I wrote stories nevertheless over Gettos, as if I would be a specialist. Perhaps I thought, if I write only for a long time enough,the memories will already come. Perhaps I also began sometime to regard some of my inventions as memories. Without being memories of the childhood, which is, as if you were condemned to constantly drag a crate with you their contents of youdo not know. And the older you become, all the more heavily seem her to you, and all the more impatiently you will finally open, the thing. “

1945 pulled Jurek Becker with its father into the Lippehner road 5 to east Berlin.This decision justified the father thereby that in the Soviet zone of occupation anti-fascists came to power and were proceeded nowhere as thoroughly against the Antisemitismus as in the place, at which it largest development had experienced. Max Becker differentiatedalso later very strongly between itself and the German. The relationship between Jurek Becker and its father was relatively good after Beckers of own statement, although it adds:

“The difficulty of a dialogue with my father arose also from the fact that IMonster was. Understand it it please not as presumption, if I legend that my father, who was a simple man had trouble, me to have grown. In its eyes I was an intermediate thing between Intelligenzbestie and child head. “

Over the relationshipto its stepmother Jurek Becker however never expressed itself. The largest problem in east Berlin arose for it from the simple fact that it did not know the German language:

“As I eight years was old, heard my father, the latter afterthe war me remaining relatives, from one day to the next up to speak with me Polish; its intention was the best to learn it assumed that nothing at all different one would remain remaining for me, as in the hand turning German. Which it notbedacht hat, war, dass ich das Polnische viel schneller vergaß, als ich die neue Sprache lernte. Thus had I unite time literally speechless to live. “

Above all at school the situation was with difficulty, there it everywhere as stranger and in former timesMore pursued one recognized and it the schoolmates with Verachtung punished. It meant the largest luck for it to avoid errors. Otherwise the life was acceptable in east Berlin, since it as a Jew some privileges enjoyed and for example better food maps got.

Becker lived after 1945 in east Berlin, and. A. in a group house with Manfred jug. 1955 made Jurek Becker the Abitur and carried out afterwards two years military service in the national People's Army. In addition it became member of the FDJ. Approximatelythe will of its father, who wanted that he became a physician, decided it itself 1957 for the study of philosophy and became member of the SED. After six terms it was relegiert 1960 for political reasons of the university and becamefree writer.

its life as free writers

1960 it began a short film scenario study in the GDR film center Babelsberg and wrote several Kabarett texts. 1962 he was firmly employee film script author with the DEFA and wrote some television plays and film scripts. As 1968 his film script Jakob of the liars was rejected, reworked it it to its first novel, which appeared 1969 and 1974 were nevertheless still filmed. it received the Heinrich man price and the Charles Veillon price to 1971.

His most famous book, Jakob of the liars,so far twice one filmed. The filming by the DEFA was nominated for the Oskar as the best foreign film (1974, DEFA Studio of the GDR, direction: Franc Beyer, actor: Vlastimil Brodsky, Erwin Geschonneck, Henry Hübchen).

1972 died its father. 1973 appearedits second novel “deception of the authorities”. In addition it was selected into the executive committee of the writer federation.it received 1974 for deception of the authorities the literary award of the free Hanseatic city Bremen and 1975 the national price of the GDR for literature. that signed 1976 politicallyengaged Jurek Becker with eleven further writers a letter against the deprivation of citizenship wolf of Biermann, which was punished with the exclusion from the SED and from the executive committee of the writer federation of the GDR. The novel “the Boxer” appeared.

1977 stepped JurekBecker from protest against the exclusion of pure Kunzes from the writer federation and pulled with permission of the GDR authorities into the west, since books in the GDR were not its no more shifted and film projects were rejected. In addition was it the opinion thatconstant political arguments for the literature only negative effects would have. Nevertheless it stressed:“If I in the GDR my things to publish would know and me the public was not taken, would like I from tomorrow on again in the GDR to live. ”

Of 1978 to 1984 two further novels (sleepless days 1978 and all world friend 1982 ) and a collection of narrations appeared (after the first future 1980). Jurek Becker was a guest professor at universities and held several lectures by program.

1986 appearedthe novel Bronsteins of children. In addition it wrote the film script for the successful TV serial favourite cross mountain in this year, for which it was distinguished 1987 together with Manfred jug and Heinz Schirk with the Adolf Grimme price in gold.

Jurek Beckerspoke reluctantly about his private life. It is only well-known the fact that it had three sons (the youngest, Jonathan, 1990 born) and with his second Mrs. Christine was married. It died at intestine cancer, the end of 1995 diagnosed was.

Work on []

Jurek Becker to the Judentum

on the question, whether he was Jew, normally answered Jurek Becker: “My parents were Jews.” It called itself as Atheist. It was introduced by its father never into the Judentum and it was notof alone grown. According to own data it was only once short before a turning date for the television in a synagog, in order to learn and to show correctly be able the expiration.


of works

  • the Jakobs of the liars, 1969 ISBN 3-518-37274-2
  • deception of the authorities, 1973
  • the Boxer, 1976
  • sleepless days, 1978
  • after thatfirst future, narrations, 1980
  • of all world friend, 1982
  • favourite cross mountain, film scripts to the TV serial, 1985-1996
  • narrations, 1986
  • Bronsteins of children, 1986
  • warning of the writer, three lectures in Frankfurt, 1990
  • Amanda heartless, 1992
  • we are also only one people, film scripts to the TV serial, 1994
  • end of the size size of, essays, lectures, 1996
  • dear Johnny, 2004, postcards to its son Jonathan
  • “its incomparable one “Jurek Becker. Letters, 2004.


  • Sander L.Gilman Jurek Becker: The biography, Ullstein publishing house, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-550-07559-6
  • Heinz Ludwig Arnold (Hrsg.): Jurek Becker. In: Text + criticism, volume 116, October 1992, ISBN 3-88377-416-2, ISSN 0040-5329
  • Joanna Obrusnik J.B. Born Jew - appointed Atheist -German writer (donation new synagog Berlin, Centrum Judaicum) Berlin: Hentrich and. H., 2004 ISBN 3933471575
  • Martin Gregor Dellin education to the doubt review to J.B., sleepless one days in: FAZ 25.3.78, again in: Fischer yearbook of the literature criticism 1978/79, 19f. ISBN 3596264502

Web on the left of

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