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Jana Evans Braziel, Assistant Professor
229B Mc Micken Hall
Department of English and Comparative Literature
University of Cincinnati
ML 210069
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0069
Office # (513) 556-0834
Fax # (513) 556-5960

Christa Wolf

*born on March 18, 1929 in Landberg an der Warthe (now the Polish town Gorzow Wielkpolski) as Christa Ihlenfeld, where she lived until 1945 when her family fled the post-war Russian invasion; she was 16 when her family fled to Mecklenburg

*in 1949, the year that the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) was found, Christa completed high school in Bad Frankenhausen; she also joined the SED, the Socialist Unity Partyóformed from the KPD (German Communist Party) and the SPD (Social Democratic Party)

*from 1949 to 1953, Christa studied German literature at the Universities of Jena and Leipzig, where she met her future husband Gerhard Wolf in 1951; after completing her studies, she worked as a research assistant for the German Writerís Union (1953-1959); in 1954, she served on the staff of Neue deutsche Literatur and worked as chief editor for the publishing company Neues Leben

*in 1959, she moved to Halle, where under the influence of the Bitterfeld movement (a worker's movement), she worked in a factory until 1962; she also worked as a free lance editor during this time for the publishing company Mitteldeutscher Verlag and edited several anthologies of contemporary GDR literature; in 1962, Christa and Gerhard Wolf moved to Berlin, where she has lived since, working as a writer

*as a writer, Christa Wolf was both critical of the German Democratic Republic, and yet, supportive of Marxist ideals; this ambivalence toward the socialist state has caused her to be criticized by West German artists; for example, Wolf questioned the ideals of East Germany in her 1969 novel, The Quest for Christa T., but she renounced reunification of West and East Germany in 1990, revealing her commitment to socialist values; she has also been censured for having worked as a collaborator with the East German police


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