Walter Ulbricht: Mein Urgroßvater
Finishing my manuscript, I felt great. It had been a tough but amazing journey and I was happy be done. I wrote for my family, not publication, so I reached my goal.
When the Publisher told me they wanted my book, I did not know what to expect. After all, we had a common interest. Bring Walter to life as a human being.
I should have been more cautious. A week before print, the editor presented me with a ‘revised’ version sounding more like Pravda than my book. All footnotes gone, whole sections added, removed or re-written.
I accepted a painful compromise, as long as my “red lines” were reflected in the final text. They were not, despite assurances.
The matter is with the courts. I am suing over breach of contract. I am happy how readers appreciated my connection of personal and political history. Still, historians reviews tore up the publisher’s revisionism, propaganda and disinformation.
The Berlin District Court has issued an injunction against the publisher. They are not allowed to name me as the author of the paragraphs that they changed. The printed version deviates significantly from the last authorized version agreed.
The publisher confirmed the contract is no longer valid and there will be no reprint with them. Besides this, they refuse to cooperate and the book continues to be sold.
I will publish a second edition elsewhere when the time is right. It is better to take the right way rather than the easy one. This should serve family, readers and historians equally.
WHAT THE PRESS SAYS
WHAT READERS SAY
“This book (has) made an important contribution. (…) It literally cries out to have a second part.”
“An extraordinarily and detailed researched book (…), in which the political work of Walter Ulbricht is presented on an almost equal footing with the private person.”
“The (…) biographical references in the running text, (…) flow harmoniously, so to speak, and almost almost with visual rounding into the presented history.”
“A book that is an asset for historians and readers interested in contemporary politics. Worth reading!”
“Without the ideological weight from right and left (…) the book connects personal and party history, makes (…) a well-founded, (…) entertaining text.”
“What looks like an ordinary biography at first glance turns out to be much more when you read it. (…) It is written in an exciting way, very detailed and very well presented. The photos seem to bring Ulbricht’s story back to life. Simply a super interesting book!”
“Very much worth reading! The book (…) reads fluently and is enriched with a lot of interesting, first-published photo and archive material.”
“Fascinating, intimate look at Walter Ulbricht.”
“Good style, (the book shows) hitherto unknown facts (…) and historical knowledge and connections.”
“Very much worth reading! The book (…) reads fluently and is enriched with a lot of interesting, first published photo and archive material.”
“I find the book super interesting! Completely new, exciting images, comments from close family and unknown, exciting facets of Walter Ulbricht as a private person. I was fascinated by the book (…), as it creates a very intimate, close portrait.”
“(The) aim is to portray his great-grandfather as a committed person with rough edges, not as a monster, a fool (…). For the first time ever, Heyden creates a picture that might come close to Ulbricht.”
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German edition planned for 2021
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Publication planned for 2022