Date of Award

Spring 2016

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


LACS: German Studies

First Advisor

Johannes Evelein


Germany has a long history of literary censorship. Following the Second World War and the division of Germany into the Federal Republic of Germany in the West and the German Democratic Republic in the East, both states simultaneously decried censorship in their constitutions and proceeded to unofficially censor literature. A vast amount of research and attention has focused on the censorship program of the East German Ministry for Culture. Little attention, however, has been given to censorship in West Germany, despite its critical role in the development of a new cultural identity and perception of the former East Germany. This work presents a depiction of the many forms of West German literary censorship as it pertains to East Germany between 1945 and 1995, with an analysis of the consequences following reunification. It will be argued that literary censorship was employed by West Germany as a cultural political instrument against the communist state of the German Democratic Republic, thereby permanently shaping the West German public’s perception of the former East Germany and obstructing integration of East German collective experience into reunified German society.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in German Studies.