Mut und Wut

Berlin -- A remarkable exchange of letters has just been published in Berlin under the title Mut und Wut: Rudi Dutschke und Peter-Paul Zahl Briefwechsel 1978/79. During these years, the novelist Zahl was in a German prison and Dutschke, the charismatic anti-authoritarian, was living with his family in Denmark.

The book includes a helpful introduction by Gretchen Dutschke, who edited the letters with Christoph Ludszuweit and Peter-Paul Zahl, before Zahl's death in Jamaica in 2011.

Publication of the letters should dissuade historians from casually and mistakenly lumping Dutschke in with the likes of the murderous Red Army Faction. Last year the German Historical Museum made the egregious error of putting Dutschke's likeness on a brochure for its RAF exhibition. (When the mistake was brought to its attention, the brochures were quickly withdrawn, to the Museum's credit.)

The newly published letters date from a time when Rudi Dutschke was laying the groundwork for the creation of the German Green party. Peter-Paul Zahl went on to write krimi novels based in the Caribbean and even a children's volume in Jamaican patois.

The new book contains other letters of note, such as a Dutschke letter to Lothar Späth, minister-president of Baden-Württenberg, and a 1980 Zahl letter, after Dutschke's death, to the theologian Helmut Gollwitzer.

The book is available in Berlin through Verlag M and at Amazon.de:

Peter-Paul Zahl und Rudi Dutschke reflektieren die 68er in den Jahren 1978/79 vor dem Hintergrund aktueller politischer und gesellschaftlicher Entwicklungen. Peter-Paul Zahl sitzt zu dieser Zeit im Gefängnis, Dutschke ist nach Aarhus gezogen.