Sixteen years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a new canon of outlawed East German writers is about to be published for the first time.
German literature is poised to welcome some 20 prodigal sons and daughters into its fold, under the aegis of a foundation dedicated to researching the causes and impact of the East German dictatorship.
German scholars Ines Geipel and Joachim Walther in 2001 began compiling an archive of work by oppressed East German writers, silenced by persecution.
"We wanted to give young people in particular an image of East Germany that goes beyond those ghastly nostalgia shows," said Geipel in an interview with German public broadcaster NDR.
Edeltraud Eckert, Radjo Monk, Heidemarie Härtl and Peter Voss might not be household names, but once their work is published by Edition Büchergilde within its "Silent Library" series that might finally change.
Tragic fate Penned while she was serving time in the women's Hoheneck prison for political activism, Eckert's poetry, collected in a volume entitled "Year Without Spring" is the first to hit the press. She died after a horrific accident in the prison workroom in 1955, aged just 25.
Over the next five years, Büchergilde will be publishing another 19 unknown writers whose talents were curbed by state socialism and who failed to reach a more sympathetic readership in the west.
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