East Germany’s Famous Dissident

Fuchs, Jürgen. Pappkameraden

Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1981. 190 by 125mm (7½ by 5 inches). Original illustrated wrappers; 88 [8] pp. Inscribed by Fuchs to fellow poet Arnfrid Astel [pseudonym Hanns Ramus]: [“July 82. For Arnfrid Astel. Swords to plows! Peace without weapons! Dear Arnfrid, these are words that you have long understood and lived; spoken and written in your concise manner. Affectionately, J.”]; together with full page A4 hand written letter of Fuchs to Astel, on reverse of a photocopied protest speech on freedom by Fuchs (minor handwritten comments to the speech). In German. Sunning and fading to spine, tiny nicks to bottom edges of cover, paper yellowed. Overall very good. Letter folded twice.
Jürgen Fuchs (1950–1999) was one of East Germany’s most famous dissidents. Because of his subversive poetry he was expelled from the university and expelled from the Socialist Unity Party. Following a protest in 1976, he was arrested by the Stasi and spent nine months at the infamous Stasi prison in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen. There he was isolated and interrogated 200 times before international protest led to his 1977 deportation to West Germany. 
In the west Fuchs continued to support the East German underground, published anti-East German literature and poetry, and became friends with Heinrich Böll and Rudi Dutschke. While he was in West Berlin the Stasi arranged a bomb attack in front of his home and sabotaged his car’s brake lines (both incidents, he survived). When Fuchs and two other East German dissidents simultaneously fell ill with a rare form of leukemia, it seemed likely that the Stasi poisoned them. Fuchs died at age 48. A West German investigation found that the Stasi used radioactive substances against dissidents. However, the cause of Fuchs’ death was ruled inconclusive”.
Pappkameraden, literally Cardboard Comrades” is a collection of poetry about military draft under socialism and the power of government to force its people to train for war. Arnfrid Astel (1933–2018), to whom this book is inscribed, was also an anti-war poet. The heart felt inscription and accompanying letter reveal a strong bond between Astel and Fuchs. 


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Stock Code: 1085A20 Collection: Catalogue:


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