There are two documents, both compilations, which are particularly valuable as primary source material for understanding and attempting to explain the cultural and political state of the Federal Republic of Germany during the 1970s. The first of these is Frank Grutzbach's collection of newspaper articles under the title Heinrich Böll: Freies Geleitjiir Ulrike Meinhoj: Ein Artikel und seine Folgen recording the livid response to Heinrich Böll's attempt in the Spiegel in January 1972 to redress the balance in the reporting on terrorist activities. The second is the film Deutschland im Herbst made in late 1977 and early 1978, and premiered in March of that year, by a collective of German directors as a response to the media blackout following the events in Germany and in Mogadishu in Autumn 1977. Given that, as Frank Grutzbach comments in the introduction to his volume, the depth and emotional strength of the response to Böll's article is evidence of the centrality of his comments to the tensions existing in the Federal Republic in 1972, and given that, as a result of this article, Böll himself became central to the debate about terrorist activities, freedom of expression, and the role of the media in a democratic state, Böll's contribution of his mere name to the film has a particular resonance.



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