To Echo Germanica Homepage
June 2001 - Nr. 6


The Editor
Flug der Zeit
Antje berichtet
Hier O.K. Berlin!
Down On The Town
Toronto im Blick
Views & Reviews
Diefenbaker Award
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Festival of Sound
Upcoming Event
German Briefs
Genetic Ethics
Musical Exchange
Lenka Reinerova
Student Oscar

Goethe Institute Celebrates Prague Writer Lenka Reinerova


TWIG - Lenka Reinerova’s desk is stacked high with manuscript pages to correct, and the unfinished draft of a new book beckons from her typewriter. The timing isn’t the best, she says, but there’s no getting around it. In honour of her 85th birthday on May 17, the Goethe Institute threw her a huge party, and friends and admirers came from all around to drink to the health of Prague’s last German-speaking writer.

"I write most when I go out for a walk," she sighs. Reinerova likes to plot her work while strolling through the Prague gardens once frequented by journalist Egon Erwin Kisch, the legendary "Rasende Reporter".

Through all the changes her city has been through, Reinerova has continued to write in the Prague-inflected German she grew up with. "It is my mother tongue in the truest sense of the word," says the author. "My mother was a German-Bohemian from the west Bohemian town of Saaz (Zatec), my father a Czech ironware merchant from Prague." In 1935 Reinerova began working as an editor for the "Arbeiter-Illustrierten-Zeitung". Four years later she fled the country to escape persecution for her Jewish heritage, eventually landing in Mexico, where Kisch was living in exile. The two worked together during the war and remained close until his death in 1948.

Reinerova eventually returned to Prague, only to be arrested during the Stalinist era purges and to spend 15 months in prison. She later found favour with the communist authorities, but lost it again in 1968 and was not allowed to publish until the 1989 revolution.

Awarded Weimar’s Schillerring in 1999, Reinerova wryly notes that she’s also getting some attention in the Czech Republic. A reading of her recent work Traumcafe einer Pragerin drew a large crowd at the Prague Book Fair. The book describes a coffee house in which many of her long-departed friends, including Kisch, the writer Anna Seghers and the literary critic Eduard Goldstuecker, reappear. "The famous German-Jewish-Czech symbiosis in the city on the Moldau will end with my generation," she observes dispassionately. "Apparently it’s my fate to be a survivor."

To Top of Page

Send mail to  with questions or comments about this web site.
For information about Echoworld Communications and its services send mail to .

Copyright ©2010 Echoworld Communications