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Katja Koch     Kristina Koebe

Jenseits des "normalen Lebens" : Held*innen mit Beeinträchtigungen in der Jugendliteratur der DDR und ihre volksbildende Wirksamkeit

Universität Rostock, Arbeitsstelle Pädagogische Lesungen, 3.4.2020

Abstract: The deviation from presenting exemplary socialist personalities in the children's and youth literature of the GDR of the 1970s and 1980s goes along with an increasing literary thematisation of people with disabilities. Within a few years, a whole series of youth novels is published whose main characters have a disability that has a decisive influence on their lives. The article presented, herewith, examines the reception of four of these texts in the GDR in order to specify to what extent they impact on the discourse on how to deal with disabled people to schools, a discourse that was even promoted by state authorities at these times. The Pedagogical Readings as idealizing representations of real lessons function as a decisive source when it comes to identifying school lesson topics and thematisations beyond the curriculum. Based on their evaluation, the contribution determines to what extent current new GDR publications were used as communication occasions for negotiating problems affecting everyday life. It turns out that the topic "people with disabilities", which was otherwise quite present and widely received at this time, remains largely absent from German literature lessons in the GDR despite appropriate literary offerings.

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