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Sasa Stanisics wish: Yugoslav wars should be school supplies


Book prize winner Sasa Stanisic notes that Germans knew very little about the wars in former Yugoslavia. At the book fair he also commented on his criticism of Nobel laureate Peter Handke.

The winner of the German Book Prize 2019, Sasa Stanisic, wishes the war on Yugoslavia on the curriculum of German schools. He said that in the SPIEGEL live conversation at the Frankfurt Book Fair. After 1945, the Yugoslav wars were the biggest wars in Europe. They are "damn near," said Stanisic - temporal and spatial. But Germans would not know enough about it.

Born in Bosnia writer who has witnessed the war itself and before fled to Germany, reported on the reactions that he often gets: "We were all very clear" and "We go from time to time to Croatia in the Vacation". It is just not a small talk topic, said the 41-year-old.

Stanisic now demands to work on this deficit of knowledge. There is enough material: the questionable role of Germany and Europe during the war, the crimes against human rights and the various perspectives, international as well as that of the individual ethnic groups on the ground. "I would totally wish that were the subject matter," Stanisic said.

In his speech on the book prize for his novel "Origin" he had sharply criticized Nobel laureate Peter Handke for his attitude in texts on Bosnia and Serbia. However, Stanisic showed understanding for Handke's reaction to journalist questions in Carinthia. The Nobel Prize winner wanted to talk about literature, but "they want a reaction again, they want to make it worse, and he gets away with it, which is totally right for me."

Only at the age of 14 did Stanisic learn German. One of his first words was "Garmisch-Partenkirchen". He loved the "amount of stuff in one word". The new-word formations, which functioned by a series of words, like Stanisic especially. In Serbo-Croatian that is not so elegant possible. Stanisic educates his son bilingually. Growing up with two languages ​​"is a gift for every child," he said.

Source: spiegel

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