Jenny Williams: the Dublin-based academic explored Hans Fallada’s life and motivations  in an outstanding biography, More Lives Than One, which was published in 1998 and in a revised edition drawing on additional material in 2012. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

This is the background story to the writing and eventual publication of Hans Fallada’s A Stranger in My Own Country (Polity), a memoir of life in Nazi(...)

Not just a pawn: Hans Fallada

Hans Fallada, the literary pseudonym of Rudolf Ditzen, was far more contradictory than any of the many characters he invented in his colourful fiction(...)

The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass

It is Halloween, but it is also Reformation Day in Germany. Exactly 497 years ago Martin Luther strode up to the castle church in Wittenberg and na(...)

Iron Gustav is the story of one man, but it is also a vivid, atmospheric portrait of Berlin, showing how the war affected its citizens. Photograph: Roger Viollet/Getty Images

Gustav Hackendahl, former soldier and now employer, is a domestic tyrant. He runs his home in much the same way as he directs the daily routine in (...)

Judith Schalansky: her novel has a beguiling intellectual quality that is extraordinarily German

Most people have a Frau Inge Lohmark lurking somewhere in their memory. Usually a particularly miserable teacher who took pride in never cracki(...)

Money makes the world go round, or so the nasty little master of ceremonies in Cabaret sang suggestively. A lack of cash tends to send ordinary life s(...)