Dimension2: Contemporary German-Language Literature

Volker von Törne was born in Quedlinburg in 1934 and died in Münster in 1980, while on a lecture tour for "Aktion Sühnezeichen," an organization that tried to atone for Nazi crimes by working to improve social services in countries that had suffered as a result of Nazism. In this sense, Törne was typical of the critical and angry young men who realized that their parents had been responsible for atrocities of the Nazi era—often in a literal sense: Törne's father, for example, had been a member of the SS. His poems, as personal and playful as they are at times, always contain a political perspective, which on occasion becomes the painful center of attention for a poem.

Notstand und andere Gedichte (State of Emergency and other poems) from Im Lande Vogelfrei (Berlin: Verlag Klaus Wagenbach, 1981): Vol. 6, No. 2/3

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