Things were bad for Theodor Fontane when he was taken prisoner of war. No way – an “accident”. Because of – “everything is half as bad”. no It was bad and you had to fear for your life. But how did it come to this? And who saved him? Gabriele Raecke and Robert Rauh pursued these questions 150 years later and in 2020 published their book “Fontanes Prisoners of War. How the poet escaped death in France”.

However, the year 2020 was extremely unsuitable for major book premieres in Berlin due to the corona. This can only be made up for now, but in the most magnificent setting imaginable. The authors are returning this Thursday for the reading to Schönhausen Palace, which for many years was home to Rauh’s well-known “Schönhausen Castle Talks” event format.

The well-known Brecht actress Carmen-Maja Antoni, who will read from the book this Thursday, was a guest at the time.

Anyone who goes to the former residence of Frederick the Great’s wife on this sunny evening can learn more about why Fontane, who was traveling as a journalist, was suspicious to the French. became. But unfortunately he had a revolver with him and it didn’t say that he only had it with him for self-protection: when the rather large shooting instrument fell out of his traveling blanket, it was over for the goodwill of the officers who had noticed him.

They promptly mistook the 50-year-old for a spy or worse. Thus began his less than comfortable journey through prisons and fortresses.

You can find out more about the happy ending, which was internationally acclaimed at the time, today in the ballroom of Schönhausen Palace. Both authors, who had previously written another Fontane book, will also report how they managed to find out more about the circumstances of his capture and the attempts to free him, which featured prominent figures.