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Hellmuth Karasek

Hellmuth Karasek
in 2011
Born 4 January 1934
Brno (German: Brünn), Czechoslovakia
Died 29 September 2015(2015-09-29) (aged 81)
Hamburg, Germany
Occupation Journalist, author
Years active 1965–2015
Hellmuth Karasek (left) and Jens Rusch

Hellmuth Karasek (4 January 1934 – 29 September 2015) was a German journalist, literary critic, novelist and the author of many books on literature and film. He was one of Germany's best-known feuilletonists.[1]


  • Life 1
  • Select bibliography 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Karasek was born in the capital city of Moravia, Brno (German: Brünn), which was then a part of Czechoslovakia (nowadays of the Czech Republic). Karasek attended the National Political Institutes of Education in Loben.[2] In 1944, when he was ten, his family fled from Bielitz in the neighbouring German region of Silesia (today Bielsko in Poland) to Bernburg in Saxony-Anhalt.[3] After finishing his schooling in the early 1950s he moved from there—then part of East Germany—to West Germany and became a student at the University of Tübingen, where he studied History, German and English language and literature.[4]

After his graduation Karasek started working as a journalist, and in 1968 became the theatre critic of the weekly newspaper Der Tagesspiegel. He also wrote over 20 books about which dealt about his own life or literature and film. He also wrote autobiographies about people like Max Frisch, Bertolt Brecht and his close friend Billy Wilder. In 1999, he was a member of the jury at the 49th Berlin International Film Festival.[5]

Karasek was best-known as one of the permanent members of the TV-literature review show Das Literarische Quartett, together with literary critic Marcel Reich-Ranicki, between 1988 and 2001.[6] He also frequently appeared on other German television shows, for example in quiz shows like Die 5-Millionen-SKL-Show. Karasek also wrote some stage plays under the psyeudonym Daniel Doppler.[7]

Select bibliography

  • Carl Sternheim (1965)
  • Max Frisch (1966)
  • Deutschland, deine Dichter (1970)
  • Brecht, der jüngste Fall eines Klassikers (1978)
  • Billy Wilder (1992)
  • Mein Kino (a personal list of the 100 best movies ever) (1994)
  • Go West! (about the 1950s) (1996)
  • Hand in Handy (about the mobile phone craze) (1997)
  • Das Magazin (novel, 1998)
  • Betrug (novel, 2001)
  • Karambolagen. Begegnungen mit Zeitgenossen (2002)
  • Auf der Flucht (memoir, 2004)


  1. ^
  2. ^ Napolas im dritten Reich: Hitlers brutale Kaderschmieden
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Berlinale: 1999 Juries". Retrieved 2012-01-28. 
  6. ^ Das Literarische Quartett
  7. ^,karasek150.html

External links

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