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Gruppe 47 (Group 47)

The Group was founded in 1947 by Hans Werner Richter to stimulate the cultural life of the recently defeated Germans. Together with Alfred Andersch, he had set up a newspaper called Der Ruf [The Call] but it was banned by the US censors. This, however, was the start of the Group. The Group’s aim was to encourage new writers but to write about the present in a realistic style, which they called Kalligraphie. The Group tried to start another newspaper, called Skorpian but were unable to do so, for financial reasons. Richter did produce a collection of verse written by former prisoners-of-war, called Deine Söhne, Europe [Your Sons, Europe]. The Group first met in September 1947, with many of the contributors to the verse collection and to the paper present. Attendance was only by invitation and not open to the public. Readings were held and were often brutal in their criticism. The Group continued up to 1968, when their next meeting, to held in Czechoslovakia, had to be cancelled because of the Soviet invasion.

Authors associated with Gruppe 47

Ingeborg Bachmann
Heinrich Böll
Günter Grass
Peter Handke
Uwe Johnson
Martin Walser

Books on Gruppe 47 (Group 47)

Heinz Ludwig Arnold: Die Gruppe 47 (in German)
Hermann Kinder: Der Mythos von der Gruppe 47 (in German)
Friedhelm Kröll: Gruppe 47 (in German)
Reinhard Lettau: Die Gruppe 47 (in German)
Stuart Parkes and John J White (editors): The Gruppe 47 Fifty Years on
Toni Richter: Die Gruppe 47 in Bildern und Texten (in German)