Curriculum vitae

I was born 1940 in Berlin, Germany. Studied Physics at the universities of Rostock, Greifswald and at the Bulgarian State University at Sofia. Diplom (MS) Sofia 1964. Worked as a physicist for the East German film manufacturing company ORWO. Early fiction: historical adventure stories, published in a dime novel series (starting 1975). Became a free lance writer in 1976, then living in Greifswald on the Baltic Sea. Now I live in Brunswick, Maine. As a Research Associate, I was affiliated with the German Department of Bowdoin College and taught an advanced topics course for the Department (German 398): The Changing Image of America in German Travel Literature (in German).
Bowdoin College. Mellon Writer in Residence 1988-1989.
Adjunct Lecturer, German Department (1996, 2002, and 2003).
Occasionally I do appear as Santa Claus (since 2006)… and regularly at the Dog Walk on Pickard Field.


Published Works [Books only]
1980 Strom ohne Brücke (River without Bridges)
Berlin: Verlag Neues Leben
An historical novel about the discovery of the Amazon.
Third edition 1986; Czech translation 1983.
Strom ohne BrückeReka
Nichts Neues
1981 Nichts Neues unter der Sonne (Nothing New Under the Sun)
Berlin: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt
An historical novel about Giordano Bruno in Wittenberg
Second edition 1986
1982 Papiersterne (Paper Stars)
Berlin: Verlag Neues Leben
Novel dealing with the GDR of the eighties reflected through the narrator's memories of the student uprising in Paris, Mai 1968.
Second edition 1988
1985 Der Turm des Todes (The Tower of Death)
Berlin: Verlag Neues Leben
Collection of previously published historical adventure stories.
Second edition 1987
1985 Der Wind hat viele Namen (The Wind has Many Names)
Berlin: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt
An historical novel about events in Bulgaria in 1872. Bulgarian translation 1987.

1989 Strandrecht (Salvage Rights); with Hartmut Mechtel.
Berlin: Verlag Neues Leben. Historical adventure novel about piracy during the thirteenth century on the Baltic Sea. (Authors’ pseudonym: Dirck van Belden)
1990 Coopers Lederstrumpferzählungen (Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales, retold in a shortened
version; with Hartmut Mechtel).
Berlin: Verlag Neues Leben
2000 Novembermärchen. Keine bleibende Stadt (November’s Fairy Tales. Not a lasting City)
Schwerin: Thomas Helms Verlag.
A novel about people in a small provincial town in East Germany during the year the wall came down.
2003 In den Schründen der Arktik. Wie Karl May den Nordpol entdeckte
(In the Crevices of the Arctic. How Karl May discovered the North Pole).
Leipzig: Florstedt & Greis Verlagsgesellschaft.
A novel of historical fantasy. Robert Peary and Karl May, the well known travel liar and
“inventor” of the American West for Germans, go North together in 1909.

Popular science and biography, history of geographical discovery (Entdeckungsgeschichte).

1980 Länder des Goldes (Lands of Gold)
Leipzig: Urania Verlag
The 16th Century: The Conquista in the Americas. Developments in other Continents.
Third edition 1986; appeared in Hungarian translation 1986.

1983 Zu fernen Ufern (To Far Shores)
Leipzig: Urania Verlag
Maritime and Other Discoveries in the 17th and 18th Centuries

1988 Entschleierte Erde (Unveiled Earth)
Leipzig: Urania Verlag
The last chapters of discovery and exploration in all the continents including a chapter on
the "discovery" of Europe.

[These three volumes complete a series of 6 books on geographical discovery, started by geographer Dr. Walter Krämer in 1971].

GoldländerEntschleierte Erde
1989 James Cook: Seemann, Naturforscher, Entdecker (Mariner, Scientist, Discoverer).
A Biography. Berlin: Verlag Neues Leben

1991 Robert Edwin Peary: Ein amerikanischer Traum vom Pol (An American Dream of the Pole). Berlin: Verlag Neues Leben
[The only biography of R. E. Peary in German].

1998 James Cook. rororo-monographie. Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag.

2001 Marco Polo. rororo-monographie. Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag.

James CookMarco Polo
Grosse Persönlichkeiten
2004 “Große Entdecker” (Great Explorers) in „Allgemeinbildung/Große Persönlichkeiten/Das mußt du wissen“, an Encyclopedia for Young Readers (Arena Verlag Würzburg).
Korean translation (Random House JoongAng Inc., Seoul 2005 ).

1996 Out at the Old Ball Game, by B. Bookbinder [1995] (with Hartmut Mechtel).
German title: Das Baseball-Outing. Hamburg: Argument Verlag
2000 Consultant to Jeanette Clausen for the English translation of Leben und Abenteuer der Trobadora Beatriz, a novel by Irmtraud Morgner [1976]. University of Nebraska Press


"Reiseliteratur im 19. Jahrhundert"(German): Lecture to 19th century German literature class. Bowdoin College 1990

"The Changing Image of America in German Travel Literature". Advanced seminar (German 398) at Bowdoin College. Spring 1996, 2002, and Independent Study (German 291) Spring 2003. (For syllabus click here).

"Marco Polo and Columbus". Lecture to Spanish literature class. Bowdoin College 1997

“Karl May and the American West”. Lectures to German 317. Fall 2002, 2004, 2006.

“Paris, Mai 1968”. Lectures to the students of French 321. Fall 2002, Spring 2006.

“Marco Polo – Venetian Explorer”. Lecture to students of Art History 223, Spring 2007.

Guest appearances 1988 – present:
A) German 101 – 308. Resource Person for the GDR, November 1989 and November’s Fairy Tales.
B) Post-war Film and Literature courses (German 51 and German 317). Resource Person on the Reception of Wolfgang Borchert, “Die Mörder sind unter uns”, “Die Brücke”, and “Winter Adé”.
C) East German courses (German 321 and 398). Resource Person on writing, censorship, and Stasi in the GDR.

Director. Honors Project (German 401). Mark Lutte. “Translating Otto Emersleben’s ‘In den Schründen der Arktik’. A Perspective on Karl May, Robert Peary and the Presentation of Historical Identity“. Spring 2003.

since my first stay in the USA in 1987:

Readings from Papiersterne (in German) at the World Fellowship Symposium on life and culture in the GDR (Conway,NH 1987), for the German Week of the Goethe Institute (Bar Harbor 1988) and for the Maine Chapter of American Association of Teachers of German (Brunswick 1989). German Department, University of Rochester (1990)

"White Spots on the World Map: Changing Attitudes Toward Discovery": Jacob Jasper Stahl Lecture, Bowdoin College 1988

1989: Reading of short stories for the Maine Writers' and Publishers' Alliance (English; from manuscripts, translated by Helen Cafferty).

"Eyewitness Accounts and Hearsay: Travel Literature Since the Age of Discovery" (English): Jacob Jasper Stahl Lecture on the cultural implications of discovery. Bowdoin College 1989

"East Germany: Crisis and Change". The democratic reform movement in East Germany and the end of the GDR. Presentation and discussion leading. (1989/90) Bowdoin College, Penn State University, Haverford College

"Columbus goes to India". Distinguished Lecture Series, Waynesburg College 1992. Georgia Southern University 1992

Readings from the novel “Novembermärchen”: in German at the New Hampshire Symposium on life and culture in unified Germany (June 2000, Conway, NH), at Maine’s “German Stammtisch” in Topsham and at the “Deutschrunde” in Portland (November 2002); in English [translation: Helen Cafferty] at the opening of the “Berlin-Woche” at Bowdoin College (February 2004).