For a younger generation which is increasingly seeking to set the cultural agenda in the post-unification Federal Republic, as seen in the controversies surrounding Gunter Grass's 1995 novel Ein weites Feld, Heinrich Böll undoubtedly represents the past postwar world. Whereas there is now a widespread disdain for expressions of moral concern coupled with a clamour for a return to hard politics, Böll stands for "die sanfte Republik", a phrase incorporated into the title Kampfen fur die Sanjte Republik of one of the three volumes of essays he co-edited along with Freimut Duve and Klaus Staeck in the late 1970s and early 1980s. These volumes appeared during the chancellorship of Helmut Schmidt at a time when many writers and intellectuals feared a change of political climate occasioned by anti-terrorist legislation and the emergence of Franz Josef Strauß as the chancellor candidate of the CDU/CSU. Contempt for Böll has been expressed most spectacularly by the brothers Eckhard und Gerhard Henschel. Whereas Eckhard Henschel's diffamations of Böll as a writer without talent led to court cases culminating in February 1993 with a verdict from the Bundesveifassungsgericht that certain of his comments were not permissible, Gerhard Henschel in his volume Das Bloken der Lammer: Die Linke und der Kitsch concentrated on pouring scorn on Böll as a "beeindruckend empfmdsamer Mensch" who was so imbued with Catholicism "daß er sogar das Ficken als Sakrament bezeichnete".



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