Alexander Kluge

30 April 1945 - The Day When Hitler Shot Himself and the Westernisation of Germany Began

With a guest contribution by Reinhard Jirgl
(German title: 30. April 1945)
ca. 316 pages
Alexander Kluge
Foto: Alexander Kluge
© Markus Kirchgessner

Alexander Kluge, born 1932, is an author as well as the director to date of numerous films and countless TV broadcasts.

In 2003 he was awarded the Georg Büchner Prize.

Sold to

English world rights (Seagull), France (P.O.L.), Poland (W.A.B.)

A day that made history


The thirtieth of April 1945, a Monday, was the last working day observed in the Third Reich. It is followed by a national holiday and the transfer of what remained of the state to powers which had no control over the week-long no-man’s-land leading up to the surrender. It was a day filled with contradictions and bewildering life events.

The centre of Berlin was consumed by violent conflict, the Red Army occupied the city, Hitler committed suicide. By comparison, Switzerland seemed idyllic. In San Francisco the United Nations were being founded. In his latest book, Alexander Kluge describes local and global events. It is about life in a small town already occupied by US forces, about the rhythm of hairstyles, as well as events happening around the world, including the story of two SS officers stranded on one of the Kerguelen Islands. One question emerges as ubiquitous and unavoidable: What is the appropriate reaction to the total upheaval of the status quo? Martin Heidegger, for instance, in the seclusion of Wildenstein Castle, falls back on the poetry of Hölderlin…

The collective experiences of all the lives turned upside down on the 30th of April 1945 extend into the present day, and looking back, 69 years later, we see our own reflection in those events.

Other publications

Weltverändernder Zorn/World-changing Rage (2017)

Sold to:

English world rights (Seagull)

Nachricht von ruhigen Momenten/Message from Quiet Moments (2013)

Sold to:

English world rights (Seagull), Chinese simplex rights (Beijing Imaginist Time Culture)

Das Bohren harter Bretter/The Drilling of Hard Boards (2011)

Sold to:

English world rights (Seagull), Arabic world rights (Sefsafa)

Dezember/December (2010)

Sold to:

English world rights (Seagull), Chinese simplex rights (Beijing Imaginist Time Culture), France (Diaphanes), Turkey (Everest)

Der Luftangriff auf Halberstadt am 8. April 1945/The Air Raid on Halberstadt on 8 April 1945 (2008)

Sold to:

English world rights (Seagull), Spanish world rights (Machado), France (Diaphanes), Poland  (Ossolineum)

Geschichten vom Kino/Stories of the Cinema (2007)

Sold to:

Spanish rights Latin America (Caja negra), France (Diaphanes), Italy (L'orma editore), Turkey (Lemis)

Die Lücke, die der Teufel läßt/The Gap Left by the Devil (2003)

Sold to:

English world rights (New Directions), Spanish world rights (Anagrama), France (P.O.L.), Israel (Pitom)

Chronik der Gefühle/Chronicle of Feelings (2000)

Sold to:

English world rights (New Directions), Russia (NLO), France (P.O.L.), Sweden (Brutus Östling)