VOLKSBÜHNE
Berlin
Gretchen Dutschke
1968. Worauf wir stolz sein dürfen (1968. What we can be proud of)
11.04.
Roter Salon

Literature

Book premiere
Stefan Aust and Jakob Hein in conversation with the author

‘The three years between 1966 and 1969 went by in a haze, at times brilliantly bright, at times in deepest darkness, euphoric and desperate, like in the cinema. With the exception that we weren't in the audience but actors in the thick of it. That time marked us and we marked it. That is true until today.‘

Gretchen Dutschke interprets the short story of ‘68 as an anti-authoritarian cultural revolution, which catalysed the development towards an open, democratic and tolerant society in the German republic - against all resistance from divergent interpretations following the events that led to the so-called German Autumn.

It is no accident that Gretchen Dutschkes re-evaluation of events is published on the 50-year anniversary of the ‘68 movement. Her voice is particularly apt as she does not simply play the part of contemporary witness. As the wife of the “visionary of the student movement”, Rudi Dutschke, she is able to speak as someone who was directly implicated, whilst maintaining the point of view of the observer who initially only came over from the US to study. This is why “1968. What we can be proud of” reads as an insightful kaleidoscope of events for those who can recall their own experiences of the ‘68 movement.

For the later generations, it records the achievements of this cultural revolution in Germany as a narrative of post-war German history, transmitted from a perspective of both distanced observation and active participation. Gretchen Dutschke’s pride, apparent in the title, is clearly meant as a provocation. She thus purposefully draws a line to the present and aims to confront the conceptual and political appropriation of such ‘handed down’ identifying impulses.

media

Photo: Susanne Schleyer

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