Gisela Karau

Gisela Karau (birth name: Wilczynski; March 28, 1932 in Berlin April 9, 2010 in Berlin) was an East German journalist and author of children's literature. Born in Berlin, she was married and had two children.


Gisela Karau was born in Berlin 1932. After finishing her examination in 1950 (A-level) she began a five-year job training at the newspaper BZ am Abend. She worked as a reporter and a columnist for that newspaper until 1990 on a freelance basis. In the 1960s she began writing children's literature. Her first work was the novel Der gute Stern des Janusz K. (1972). The book is about the destiny of Polish children in the Buchenwald concentration camp. The book became famous and was also reprinted after 1990. Other popular children's books in the GDR written by Gisela Karau include Darf ich Wilhelm zu Dir sagen? (1979) about Wilhelm Pieck's life and Loni (1982) about a girl in Berlin a few years after World War II. Further, she wrote screenplays to many children's films of the DEFA. The motion picture Mein blauer Vogel fliegt was based on Der gute Stern des Janusz K..

She also published books for adults like the novels Berliner Liebe (1984) and Familienkrach (1988) in the GDR. In 1986, Karau was awarded the Goethe prize of the City of Berlin. After the German reunification she wrote some novels about the destiny of people in the GDR, in the Wende and in the New states of Germany after 1990. She also published more children's books like Bolle, der freundliche Hund (1994), Küsse auf Eis (1997) and Das kommt in der besten Familie vor (2003).

Gisela Karau married Günter Karau, with whom she had two children. After the death of her first husband in 1986, she married Hans-Jürgen Dörry, 18 years her junior, in 1988. She died in 2010 in a Berlin hospital.

Works (Selection)

Children's literature



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