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German History in Documents and Images
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Erich Kästner, "Visitors from the Country" (1930)
Erich Kästner (1899-1974), most famous for his children’s story, Emil and the Detectives, also wrote satirical pieces and published collections of poetry. His politically charged “poetry of use” includes this piece, which describes the shocking first encounter of country folk with the sights, sounds, and characters of Berlin. Kästner remained in Germany after 1933, despite severe restrictions and a total ban on his writing after 1943. He was instrumental in reviving satirical writing and cabaret in West Germany after World War II and received multiple literary prizes.