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"Kafka im Künstlerbuch" (Kafka art book) // Exhibition of the German Museum of Books and Writing at the German National Library in Leipzig // 11 March to 6 September 2015 // Guided tour on 22 April 2015 at 17:00

Kafka im Künstlerbuch

Little known during his lifetime and on the list of "undesirable" authors after 1933 in Germany, the work of Franz Kafka (1883-1924) only came to world fame after the Second World War. The texts of the great, German-speaking author are still as current today as they were then, and have been interpreted many times in literature and visual art.

The gallery exhibition is devoted to book designers, illustrators and typographers, who have grappled with the cryptic and whimsical texts of the Prague author in art books, drawings, comic strips and written creations. The focus is on the seven works of Kafka, which he, himself, approved for publication: "Das Urteil" (The Judgement), "Der Heizer" (The Stoker), "Die Verwandlung" (The Metamorphosis), "In der Strafkolonie" (In the Penal Colony), "Ein Hungerkünstler" (A Hunger Artist) "Betrachtung" (Contemplation), "Ein Landarzt" (A Country Doctor).

The show is also a reminder of Kafka's successful visit to Leipzig on 29 June 1912, when he met publishers Ernst Rowohlt and Kurt Wolff for the first time.

Guided tours: 7 May, 10:30 | 28 May, 10:30

15-minute reading during the Museum Night: 25 April, 21:00 and 22:00: "Kafka im Kopf" (The mind of Kafka)


Kindheit und Jugend im Ersten Weltkrieg // Exhibition of the German Museum of Books and Writing of the German National Library in Leipzig // 13 December 2014 to 3 May 2015 // Open day on 28 April, including guided tours every two hours from 11:00 - 17:00

Motiv zur Ausstellung "Kindheit und Jugend im Ersten Weltkrieg" - Junge auf Blindgänger

"We'll be back home by Christmas!" This and similar exclamations were made by many as they set off on their journey to the front in August 100 years ago. Their confidence soon evaporated, however, as the first industrial total war in history unleashed a hitherto unseen level of brutality and destructive force.
The exhibition of the German Museum of Books and Writing remembers the "seminal catastrophe" which claimed over 15 million lives and proved to be a turning point in world history. It focuses on the young generation which had been shaped by the nationalism and militarism of the German empire and had been swept up by the propaganda before being shaken to the core by the events of the war. Mobilisation notices, war-time schooling, war dictates, "War Struwwelpeter", war cookery books, military passes, forces mail, death announcements and shrouds - the exhibition brings together testimonials which recount the administrative and anonymous side of the war, while lending it a "human" face.


Recht und Wirtschaft: Ein unzertrennliches Paar // Panel discussion // German National Library in Frankfurt am Main // Monday 4 May 2015, 19:30

Logo "This Century's Review"

The debate is as contentious as it is imperative: the role played by law in the economic crisis of our globalised world. Legal experts, economists, literary critics and artists provide a multifaceted analysis of the intertwined factors of legal awareness and economic measures. The law journal This Century's Review brings international experts together for a discussion.

Panel discussion with Klaus Günther, Professor at Goethe Universität Frankfurt, Ina Hartwig, author and literary critic, Maximilian Steinbeis, constitutional law expert and journalist, Bernhard Winkler, economist at the European Central Bank. Hosted by: Laura Di Gregorio, publisher of This Century’s Review. Photo performance "This Season's" by Sarah Rosengarten.

Free admission. Contact or phone +49 (0)69 15251101 to reserve a place


Question round to mark the 130th anniversary of the German Museum of Books and Writing // A quiz on the virtual exhibition celebrating over 5,000 years of media history

Bild zum DBSM-Quiz

Who cracked the code of the pharaohs? What was the name of Gutenberg's monumental magnum opus? Truth or fiction: An alien invasion which reached New York from New Jersey despite desperate human efforts? What is the name of the universal machine which has combined electronic work and entertainment functions since the 1980s?

The knowledge quiz based on the virtual "Signs - Books - Networks" exhibition is all about the people, objects and events associated with media history. The quiz consists of three sections, each containing ten questions. The sections focus on different aspects of book and media history: Texts and Writing, Book Culture, the Digital World. All the questions include explanatory pictures which illuminate and clarify complex issues and help players to answer the questions. Each round of questions includes the correct solution and an explanation.


Virtual exhibition "First World War" is online

Plakat: Die beste Sparkasse: Kriegsanleihe!

Items depicting everyday life and the media of the First World War are being featured in the new online "100 Jahre Erster Weltkrieg" exhibition. Including posters and war newspapers, more than 200 media objects illustrate the importance of mass media in relation to the War. Areas covered by the exhibition include propaganda and censorship. For instance, visitors can find out all about the role of children's and young people's literature in the propaganda machinery of the First World War. While ration cards and posters bear witness to the difficulties of day-to-day life in which simply finding enough to eat was a problem.
The content can be accessed via the different theme areas, but there is also a time line which provides an overview of the sequence of events in the War. There is also a glossary explaining relevant terms.


5,000 years of media history online // The first virtual exhibition of the German Museum of Books and Writing of the German National Library goes online.

Plakat von 5.000 Jahre Mediengeschichte online

Tally sticks, the deciphering of Egyptian hieroglyphs, tattoos, letters, rolling book barrels, censor lists of the Catholic church, sub-Atlantic cables, Mr Bean's trip to a medieval manuscript reading room, the toilet as a place of reading or the utopia of the universal language: the first virtual exhibition of the German Museum of Books and Writing of the German National Library provides more than 1,800 insights large and small into the history of media.

Visitors explore the eleven theme modules (also translated into English) as though moving through a web of knowledge in which selected protagonists of media history serve as tour guides on a virtual journey through time. Trenchant histories of objects, pictures, films and sound recordings are woven together to form different, highly individualistic theme worlds.


Arts in Exile // Virtual Exhibition and Network

Logo of "Arts in Exile"

There are many different reasons for leaving one's country, not all of which related to political persecution. The effects which such exile has on artists and the arts are equally diverse. The virtual "Arts in Exile" exhibition is dedicated to exploring these effects. The intention is to showcase the full complexity of the subject of artists in exile.

The German Exile Archive 1933 - 1945 of the German National Library was requested by the former Federal Government Commissioner for Cultural and Media Affairs, Bernd Neumann, to assume overall control of co-ordinating the "Arts in Exile" virtual exhibition and network. The first modules of this new exhibition format went online on 18 September 2013 and they will be on display until the end of 2014. More than 30 network partners will be contributing to the continual expansion of the exhibition during this period.


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