Wolfgang Bauer

Stolen Girls - Boko Haram and the Terror in the Heart of Africa

(German title: Die geraubten Mädchen)
ca. 200 pages
Wolfgang Bauer
Foto: Wolfgang Bauer
© Heinz Heiss

Wolfgang Bauer, born 1970, works for the weekly German newspaper Die Zeit. For his reportages he has been awarded the Katholischer Medienpreis (Catholic Media Prize) and the Prix Bayeux-Calvados des Correspondants de Guerre. Stolen Girls was awarded the Nannen Prize 2016 for Best Documentary.

Sold to

English world rights (The New Press; English audiobook sublicense: Recorded Books), Arabic world rights (Al-Arabi), Italy (La Nuova Frontiera), Netherlands (Walburg Pers), Poland (Czarne), Czech Republic (Grada), Turkey (Ginko)


In the night from April 14th to April 15th 2014, members of the terrorist organization Boko Haram raided the small town of Chibok in the Northeastern part of Nigeria and abducted 276 young girls from the local boarding school. The event caused massive outrage across the globe. Under the hashtag »Bring Back Our Girls«, politicians, activists and celebrities from all around the world, among them First Lady Michelle Obama and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize Malala Yousafzai, stood up to raise attention and lend their voices to those held captive.

Acclaimed journalist Wolfgang Bauer from the German newspaper Die Zeit has managed to find and meet some of the girls who suffered a similar fate but were able to escape. In his new book, he makes sure they can finally speak for themselves – about their lives before the abduction, about the horrors during their captivity and their dreams of a better future in freedom.

Bauer diligently examines the historical and political background of the Islamist terror in the heart of Africa and describes the damage it has done to the fragile balance of ethnicities and cultures in one of the most diverse regions of the world. His book tells a story of violence, fear and uncertainty but also a story of hope, of strength and of courage.


»Must read. Stolen Girls, their own words, abt surviving Boko Haram, abt which even less is known than N Korea. W Bauer great journalist.« Ashley Judd


»Strongly recommend this book that tells tragic, heartbreaking unbelievable stories of stolen girls in Nigeria.« Malala Yousafzai


»The women’s reports are also painful. Because of their cruel content for one, but also because they hold a mirror up to the focus of our perspective and to our limited perception of that which we call ›our‹ world. In his book, Bauer manages to create a meeting at eye level. This leaves room for empathy on part of the reader that dispenses with helpless concern.« Annika Glunz, taz. die tageszeitung


»There is nothing abstract in this book, everything is precise. The victims are more than just cyphers and numbers. The women have names, they have faces, powerfully captured in portraits by Andy Spyra. […] Wolfgang Bauer gathers stories full of death, but full of life at the same time. And that way, seemingly one-dimensional victims, as they occur all too often in Africa reportages, become people with dignity again.« Sieglinde Geisel, Deutschlandradio Kultur


»As a profound expert, Bauer draws us into a world that he is able to explain with all its horrors – and in that regard, in explaining, describing and analysing, alert, with a clear mind and elegant style, he is superior to TV’s blurry images of war and catastrophy.« Roland Müller, Stuttgarter Zeitung


»To have been among the Stolen Girls is to Wolfgang Bauer’s immense credit. As is expecting us to do the same.« Deutschlandfunk


»intense and empathic« Bianca Schwarz, hr2-Kultur

Other publications

Bruchzone/Fracture Zones (2018)

Sold to:

Poland (Czarne)

Über das Meer/Across the Sea (2014)

Sold to:

English world rights (And Other Stories), Spanish world rights (Capitán Swing), Chinese complex rights (Ye-ren), Arabic world rights (Al-Arabi), French world rights (Lux Éditeur), Italy (La Nuova Frontiera), Poland (Czarne), Czech Republic (Grada), Croatia (Sandorf), Turkey (Ayrinti)