One could "nicht nur aus dem eigenen Yolk vertrieben und heimatlos werden […], sondern beides auch im eigenen Yolk und innerhalb seiner staatlichen Organisation." This was approximating to Böll's position, too. In context we must read these words against the background of the defamations that Böll had been subjected to since his Spiegel article of January 1972, in which he demanded a fair trial for Ulrike Meinhof; only a couple of weeks before the Jerusalem conference Matthias Walden had accused Böll of having "manured the ground" on which the violence flourished which had just led to the assassination of Gunter von Drenkmann, provoking the famous libel case which was to drag on for ten years. The age-old German conflict of "Geist" and "Macht," which was to dominate the 1970s and was to break out again in the wake of unification in 1990, was already raging. Just a year later Böll was defending himself once more against accusations of a lack of patriotism: it was "die hochste Form des Patriotismus," he said, to write in the language of one's own country.



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