Henryk M. Broder , a writer and one of the most well-known publicists in Germany, was born in Katowice in 1946. In 1958 he came with his parents to the Federal Republic of Germany where he got his driving license, took his A-levels and began studies in sociology. As a journalist for »Der Spiegel«, Broder has never avoided quarrels about German self-identity. In his publications he deals critically and pointedly with topics such as the German past, the Judaism and the German Left. Some hold him in regard as an astute columnist, others fear the argumentative polemicist. On the one hand derisive and ironic, on the other investigative and informed, Broder has published numerous texts. The collection of texts, »Die Irren von Zion« (1998), was written on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the creation of the state of Israel. The title alone already suggests, in its reversal of the antisemitic myth of the »Wise Men of Zion« how uninhibited Broder is when approaching his subject. In this collection of reports, essays, interviews and anecdotes, the reader is satirically made aware of the, at times harsh, reality of everyday life in Israel.
»Provocative« is the term, which is connected with Broder. After the publication of »Erbarmen mit den Deutschen« (1994) the »Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung« wrote: »He is a pitiless provocateur and classic instigator. He makes us think and suggests ways of changing things«.
His publication, »Kein Krieg, nirgends: Die Deutschen und der Terror« (2002), affirms this reputation. In this book, based on true statements, Broder documents, with his usual readiness to engage in confrontation, the first reactions of German opinion makers to the events of 11th September 2001. Whether Eugen Drewermann, Horst Eberhard Richter, Boris Becker, Wolfgang Joop, Guenter Grass or Peter Sloterdijk – every imaginable statement made on this subject on the radio, in the newspaper, talk show or Internet was registered and commented on. Broder follows the debate with masochistic patience and sadistic precision and uncovered the intellectual mechanically routine modes of thinking which predominate in the world of the media. »Kein Krieg. Nirgends« is the stimulating but also terrifying reflection of the German newspapers’ literary and arts sections. In 2003 »www. Deutsche-Leidkultur.de« got published.
Henryk M. Broder publishes the »Jüdischen Kalender« together with Hilde Recher annually, a current yearbook of history, culture and politics. His collection »Hurra, wir kapitulieren« (2006; t: Hooray, we surrender), containing polemical essays on Western tendencies to tolerate Islamism, appeared recently. He lives in Berlin and Jerusalem.
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