Brigham Young University Remembers Walter Kempowski

Renowned German writer Walter Kempowski, who passed away in late 2007, had a long and interesting involvement with Brigham Young University. This article is BYU’s remembrance of his life and work, echoing the nationwide commemorations in his native land. It is likely that Kempowski is Germany’s best-known writer in the broadest circles of the German population. His work was featured in two spectacularly popular television films. He wrote a series of nine historical novels about his family, portrayed as a kind of German “every family.” Kempowski’s relationship to BYU started out inauspiciously, with one visit and a lecture in 1980, and visiting lectureship in fall semester 1986. He enjoyed being associated with LDS Church members at BYU, teaching students about German literature and history and film, and finding remarkable and unexpected friends and resources.

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