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Christa Reinig
(August 6, 1926 - September 30, 2008) Germany

Christa Reinig



Born in Berlin, her mother supported herself and her illegitimate daughter by working as a cleaner. Reinig grew up in the Nazi regime. Her early aspiration was to become a gardener, but after an aborted apprenticeship in a flower shop in Alexanderplatz, she found work as an office assistant during the war.

After WWII she worked in an East Germany factory. Through evening classes Reinig was able to enter Arbeiter-und-Bauern-Fakultät and later East Berlin's Humboldt University, where she studied archaeology and art history. This took her into a job as an archivist in an East German museum, and from 1948 she did editorial work on a satirical magazine called Ulenspiegel.

Her works were not published in the GDR starting in 1951, and when Reinig was awarded the Literary Prize of Bremen, West Germany, she did not return to the GDR from her trip to accept the prize in Bremen.

In 1971 Reinig was permanently disabled after a fall. Reinig's reputation as a lesbian-feminist writer took off with the publication of her 1976 novel Entmannung (Emasculation). After this novel, Reinig's work became progressively more lesbian-centered. She has also published poetry, radio plays and essays. Reinig died on in the Catholic care home, where she had moved at the start of that year. She left her papers to the German Literature Archive in Marbach am Neckar.


Her work include:

  • Drei Schiffe (Three Ships, 1959)
  • Gedichte (Poems, 1964)
  • Orion trat aus dem Haus (Orion Stepped out of the House, 1969)
  • Die himmlische und die irdische Geometrie (The Geometry of Heaven and Earth, 1975)
  • Entmannung (Emasculation, 1976)
  • Mädchen ohne Uniform (Girl out of Uniform, 1979)
  • Der Wolf and die Witwen (The Wolf and the Widows, 1980)
  • Die ewige Schule (The Eternal School, 1982)
  • Nobody (1989)
  • Glück und Glas (Fortune and Glass, 1991)
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