Heinrich Böll – Blažka Müller Pograjc

The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum

Directed by: Matjaž Pograjc


The short novel The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum (1972) is a literary pamphlet by the Nobel Prize winner Heinrich Böll. The novel is subtitled How violence develops and where it can lead and is a five-day story of sensationalist journalism, of a media lynch by the tabloids that destroys the life of the 27-year-old housekeeper Katharina Blum. Without any substantial evidence, the yellow press proclaims her to be a “terrorist bride”, because she’d spent a night with a Ludwig Götten, accused of terrorism, who in the end turned out to be an ordinary robber.

“The persons and the action of this novel are fictional. If describing certain journalistic practices recalled similarities to the practices of the Bild newspaper, then these similarities are neither intended nor coincidental, but inevitable,” wrote Böll, when he revealed the police’s dirty business in the “witch hunt” and disclosed how conspiracy theories develop in the superfluous tabloid press. What happened to Katharina Blum happened to Ulrike Meinhof in 1971.


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