Martin Reichert

The Capsule - AIDS in the Federal Republic of Germany

(German title: Die Kapsel)
ca. 300 pages
Martin Reichert
Foto: Martin Reichert
© Jürgen Bauer

Martin Reichert, born in 1973, is a journalist und author. Since 2004 he has worked for die tageszeitung

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AIDS in the Federal Republic of Germany: how an illness changed a country.


»Don’t give AIDS a chance« – almost every German will recognise the slogan of this 1987 campaign from the Federal Centre for Health Education. »Truvada« was the name of the wonder drug that was supposed to fulfil this call to arms. The capsule, which for some time had already been prescribed to those infected with HIV, in the meantime is also used for its prevention. What the majority of Germans remain unaware of, however, is the pain and isolation that many people had to experience prior to AIDS education and prevention as well as the development of effective medicines.

On the basis of numerous encounters with those affected as well as eyewitnesses, Martin Reichert tells the story of these people. Of those homosexual men, for example, who—cut off from society—had to come to terms with the loss of their partners. Of those suffering from AIDS who were stigmatised by disinheritance and disinvitation. AIDS deeply changed the way we live and love.

The brilliantly researched work The Capsule operates on two levels: it takes a look back at the last few decades when AIDS found its way into the consciousness of Germany, and it is a preview of what could change through the capsule and its application.


»Well researched and exacting this book depicts the catastrophic years between 1981 and 1996 ... « magazin.hiv

»In his arduously researched book Reichert calls attention to this culture of silence surrounding HIV through the extremely emotional memories of eyewitnesses. Opening up the capsule—reading stories from those who experienced it, talking about the virus—is the best medicine of all to finally drive the nightmare of Aids away.« Siegessäule July 2018

»With The Capsule Reichert offers a superbly researched, gripping, and, as befits the theme, serious, but at times also humorous, story of the HI-Virus in Germany.« Süddeutsche Zeitung

»The Capsule brings a repressed piece of German history back into public consciousness.« couch.fm