24th ilb
5 – 14 Sep 2024 Program
9 – 18 Sep 2024 Young Program

Worldwide Reading in Memory of Heinrich von Kleist on 21th November 2011

The international literature festival berlin (ilb) and the German Heinrich von Kleist Society are calling for cultural institutions, schools, radio stations and anyone who is interested to organise a worldwide reading of the works of the German author Heinrich von Kleist on 21 November 2011, the 200th anniversary of his death.


The international literature festival berlin (ilb) and the German Heinrich von Kleist Society are calling for cultural institutions, schools, radio stations and anyone who is interested to organise a worldwide reading of the works of the German author Heinrich von Kleist on 21 November 2011, the 200th anniversary of his death.

Heinrich von Kleist was a crisis expert and project maker at the turn of the 19th century who regarded Germany to be a waiting room lacking movement. He attempted to shake his contemporaries back to life with futuristic experiments, not only in literature, but in all areas of society. He developed ideas for a military and financial reform of the Prussian state, came up with the notion of a “school of vice” based on a programme of “oppositional” pedagogical concepts, designed a submarine and “bomb post” and set up a daily newspaper in the capital to act as a front for political activities. As a character, playwright and storyteller with extreme positions, misunderstood by his contemporaries, Kleist is nowadays seen as a modern figure who got caught up in political and societal upheavals of his times and whose life was marked continuously by instability, despite the fact that he belonged to an aristocratic family from the Margraviate Brandenburg. He developed his ideas and changing life concepts out of a permanent state of crisis. After leaving the military, he changed his life constantly, re-inventing himself again and again as a learned man, a public official, father of a family, farmer, book dealer or theatre director and ultimately as a successful author, something that escaped him in his lifetime.

The 200th anniversary of Kleist’s death on 21 November 2011 is an occasion to discuss the relationship between crisis, critique and reform ideas then and today. However, the 21st of November is also the day on which tribute should be paid to Kleist’s life, how he died and his works. In his honour, excerpts from the letters and works of Heinrich von Kleist should be read on the anniversary of his death.

The worldwide reading already has tradition. It emerged on the third anniversary of the beginning of the war in Iraq. The international literature festival berlin and the Peter Weiss Foundation for Art and Politics first called for a worldwide reading of Eliot Weinberger’s What I Hear About Iraq on 20 March 2006, the anniversary of the political lie. Further worldwide readings followed after the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, in the runup to the Olympic Games in China, against the rule of Robert Mugabe, in memory of Mahmud Darwish and to support the democratic opposition in Iran. As many as one hundred institutions, including radio and television stations, have been involved every year in the worldwide reading on all continents or have reported on it.

The texts to be read at the worldwide reading are available in German, English, French, Japanese, Spanish and Hungarian. Any institutions or individuals who want to take part in the reading are asked to contact us. The great number of texts selected will then be sent to the partners per email. The email address is: worldwidereading@literaturfestival.com

Aufruf (Englisch)

Aufruf (Französisch)

Aufruf (Spanisch)

Aufruf (Russisch)

Aufruf (Japanisch)

Aufruf (Chinesisch)

Aufruf (Arabisch)

Aufruf (Ungarisch)


Kleist – Textauswahl (Deutsch)

Kleist – Textauswahl (Englisch)

Kleist – Textauswahl (Französisch)

Kleist – Textauswahl (Italienisch)

Kleist – Textauswahl (Spanisch)


Abidjan (Germano-Philia e.v., Society for German Language/ Branch-Togo, Felix & Partner S.a.r.l.u.) | Accra (Goethe-Institut) | Albuquerque (University of New Mexico) | Augsburg (Taschenbuchladen Krüger e.k.) | Bad Bergzabern (Alfred-Grosser-Schulzentrum) | Banja Luka (University Banja Luka) | Banska Bystrica (German Library Banska Bystrica/ Goethe-Institut Bratislava) | Bari (Univer­sitá Bari) | Barmstedt (Amateurtheaterverein „Barmstedter Speeldeel“) | Berlin (Heinrich von Kleist-Gesellschaft, Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin) | Betzdorf (Freiherr-vom-Stein-Gymnasium) | Blagoweschtschensk (Amur State University) | Bogotá (Colegio Andi­no – Deutsche Schule Bogotá) (DAAD and Goethe-Institut Bogotá) | Brest (DAAD Brest, State University Puschkin Brest, Gorki-Gebietsbiblio­thek Brest) | Bukowina (Zentrum Gedankendach) | Bydgoszcz (Marlen Pelny, Uniwersytet Kazimierza Wielkiego w Bydgoszczy) | Cali  (Centro Cultural Co­lombo Alemán, Deutsche Schule Cali) | Cambridge (University of Cambridge) | Campinas (Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem, IEL-UNICAMP)  | Catania (Universitá Catania) | Charkiw (University Charkiw/ Nürnberger Haus) | Chiang Mai (DAAD Thailand and University Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai Creative City) | Concepción (DAAD, Goethe Zentrum Concepción) | Damascus (University of Damaskus) | Danzig (Marlen Pelny | Uniwersytet Gdansk) | Daugavpils (DAAD-Lektorat at the Faculty for German Philology at the University of Daugavpils) | Daun (Thomas-Morus Gymnasium) | Duschanbe (DAAD-Information Center and the German Embassy Duschanbe) | Elmshorn (Bis­marckschule) | Eriwan (DAAD Armenia and Goethe-Institut Georgien) | Fayetteville (University of Arkansas) | Firenze (Group around Dr. Claudia Vitale) | Fortaleza (Armazém da Cultura and Casa da Cultura Alemã) | Frankfurt (Oder) (Kleist-Museum) | Gent (Universiteit Gent) | Genua (Universitá degli Studi di Genova) | Greifswald (Institute for Ger­man Philology, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University, Kunstverein Art7) | Grünheide (Lesenestchen Kagel) | Guangzhou (DAAD Information Center Guangzhou, Sun Yat-sen University, School of Foreign Languages) | Hanoi (Hanoi University) | Hefei (Universität Anhui) | Honolulu (University of Hawai‘i at Manoa & Deutschklub & AATG-Hawai‘i chapter) | Ibadan (DAAD and Univer­sity of Ibadan/ Dept. of European Studies) | Indien (DAAD, Jawaharlal Nehru University) | Istanbul (Marmara Üniversitesi) | Jakarta (DAAD, Universitas Negeri Jakarta UNJ and Universitas Indonesia UI) | Jelec (Jelec State University I.A. Bunin) | Kamenz (Arbeitsstelle für Lessing-Rezeption) | Kairo (DAAD Kairo) | Kampala (Goethe-Zentrum Kampala) | Karlsruhe (Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe) | Kasan/Tatarstan (DAAD and KPFU) | Kostaney (Goethe-Institut Kostaney) | Kraków (7 DSD-II-Schools in Kraków and Olkusz) | Kudymkar (Culture Reloaded, SMACentre for Education) | Lahore (Goethe-Institut Lahore) | Lanzarote (I.E.S. San Bartolomé Schule) | Leipzig (Friedrich-Schiller-Schule) | Lissabon (Teatro Aberto and University Lissabon) | Lomé (Germano-Philia e.v., Society for German Language/ Branch-Togo, Felix & Partner S.a.r.l.u.) | Long Beach (California State University) | Lublin (Catholic University Lublin) | Managua (DAAD Nicaragua) |  Meerbusch (Mataré-Gymnasium) |  Miany­ang (Mianyang Normal University) | Milan (PiccoloTeatro di Milano, Goethe-Institut Mailand, Università degli studi di Milano) | Millstatt (büro für tanz Itheater Iproduktionen) | Minsk (ZfA, GIMinsk, DAAD Minsk, Robert-Bosch-Stiftung) | Nagorno-Karabakh (State University) | Nairobi (Goethe-Institut Nairobi) |  Neapel (Univer­sitá Suor Orsola Benincasa, Goethe-Institut Neapel) | Neustadt (Käthe-Kollwitz-Gymnasium) | Nijmegen (Duitse Taal en Cultuur van de Faculteit der Letteren, University Nijmegen) | Odessa (Bayerisches Haus Odessa (BHO), Nationale Metschnikow-Universität (ONU)) |  Oxford (DAAD and Queen´s College) | Padova (Instituto di Cultura Italo-tedesco, Goethe-Institut) | Paris (Sorbonne University) | Peking (Deutsche Botschaftsschule Peking) | Perm (Perm State Regional Library A.M. Gorky and „Art Modern“) | Pittsburgh (University of Pittsburgh) | Porto Alegre (DAAD and Goethe-Institut Porto Alegre) | Posen (Marlen Pelny | Uniwer­sytet Adama Mickiewicza) | Prague (DAAD Prague and the German Embassy Prague) | Pretoria (Deutsche Schule Pretoria) | Qingdao (DAAD-Lektorat Qingdao University) | Reykjavík (Radio RUV Island) | Riwne (Internationen Akademiker Stepan Demian­chuk University) | Rom (LUSPIO Universitá) | Rostock (Internetradio WARNOW und Theaterensemble Rostock) | Rostow-am-Don (DAAD and Southern Federal University) | Samara (DAAD Samara and State Academy for Social Science and Humanities of the Volga Region) | São Paulo (Goethe-Institut São Paulo) | Schwerin (Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater Schwerin) | Seoul (DAAD, Yonsei University and Ewha University) | Shanghai (DAAD-Informationszentrum Shanghai and Fudan University Shanghai) | Siena-Arezzo (Universitá Siena-Arezzo) | Singapore (German European School Singapore) | Singapore (BooksActually) | Sombor (Humanitarian Association „St.Gerhard“) | Stellenbosch (University of Stellenbosch) | Sydney (Universi­ty of Sydney) | Tallinn (Deut­sches Kulturinstitut Tallin, National Library Estonia) | Torun (Marlen Pelny, Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika) | Triest (Universitá Trieste) | Tübingen (Wilhelm-Schickard-Schule) | Tucumán (Universi­dad Nacional de Tucumán INSIL & DAAD) | Turin (Universita‘ degli Studi di Torino) | Udine (Teatro Nuovo Giovanni di Udine, Universitá Udine and the Cultural ressort of Udine) | Valencia (I.E.S. Luis Vives) | Venice (Universitá Ca´Foscari, centro tedesco) | Volgograd (University Volgograd, Goethe-Institut Volzhskiy) | Washington, DC  (Georgetown University) | Wellington (Goethe-Institut Neuseeland) | Wil­liamstown, MA (Williams College) | Windhoek (Goethe-Institut Windhoek) | Wolfenbüttel (Lessing-Akademie) | Woronesch (Federal University Woronesch, Robert-Bosch-Stiftung)