Christa Wolf, widely regarded as one of the greatest German writers of the past century, has died in Berlin at the age of 82. She was best known for novels such as Divided Heaven (1963) and Cassandra (1983), and much of her work focused on the divisions that kept the two sides of Germany apart for much fo the second half of the 20th century.
Born in 1929, Christa Wolf joined the Socialist Union Party of Germany in the late 40s. It was subsequently claimed that she worked as an informant for the Stasi in the late 50s, although they reportedly lost confidence in her cooperation and she remained under close observation for many years.
Christa Wolf was a controversial figure after Germany’s reunification, with critics claiming that she had failed to recognise the true authoritarianism of East Germany. But supporters argued that she was simply refusing to take the accepted dominant view of the division, and that any attempt to explore Germany’s trouble history should be applauded.