Skip to main content
The event you were looking for has already taken place. Find many more events, tips and recommendations in Berlin's biggest event calendar on

Reading and discussion, moderation: Paul Werner Wagner

Berghofer is one of the well-known actors of the reunification period. As Mayor of Dresden, he was one of the first GDR politicians to seek dialogue with the opposition. He became deputy party chairman of the SED-PDS and wanted to join the SPD with aplomb and entourage in January 1990, which the East German Social Democrats prevented.

Berghofer withdrew from politics and went into business. His closeness to conservative West German politicians and entrepreneurs was viewed as at least as critical by many East Germans as his renunciation of socialism.

In the meantime, he is sitting between all chairs, which is exactly what he wanted, because he was and is a staunch supporter of cooperation with Russia. On the occasion of his 80th birthday in February 2023, he takes stock of his life without mincing his words. Having already written about his time in the GDR (“No Figure in Chess”, 2014), he focuses on the last thirty years in his new book. It is a critical reckoning with the capitalist system, which in its current state has no chance. Berghofer reports on his experiences as a management consultant, about the all-powerful bureaucracy and the stagnation of the civil service and court system in the Federal Republic of Germany.

He can compare because he knows both systems - from below and from above. Berghofer is an excellent analyst and a moderately eccentric person, a contemporary and contemporary witness of an unusual kind. He calls himself a grim optimist.

Moderation: Paul Werner Wagner

Paul Werner Wagner, born in 1948, is a literary scholar and cultural manager. Arrested in 1967 while trying to escape from the GDR and sentenced to 18 months in prison for treason, he was able to study cultural and literary studies at the Humboldt University in Berlin after seven years of probation in production. He has been chairman of the Friedrich Wolf Society since 2012, was founder of the Emanuel Lasker Society and its chairman from 2001 to 2019 and chairman of the artists' club DIE MÖWE from 2002 to 2010.

Of course, as always at author readings, you can also purchase the book and/or have it signed.

(Program in German)