The anthology Blitz aus heiterm Himmel was published in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in 1975. It includes short stories written by both men and women in which the protagonist undergoes a miraculous gender change of sorts. While the various authors take different approaches to the concept of gender, there are themes that tie the stories together. In the stories that scholars have analyzed, their analyses generally focus on either the portrayal of men and the role of masculinity, or the discourse of women in science. I instead chose to focus on and analyze three of these short stories (“Selbstversuch: Traktat zu einem Protokoll”, “Der Gute Botschaft der Valeska in 73 Strophen” and “Das Rübenfest“) using the conventions of the horror genre. I discuss the lack of a horror genre in general in the GDR, and also conclude that the unrealized promise of gender equality in the GDR lead to the manifestation of doppelgängers and witches in the Blitz aus heiterm Himmel anthology.
Level of Honors
Bonoff, Sarah, "Blitz aus heiterm Himmel: Monstrous Femininity and the Illusion of Gender Equality in the GDR" (2016). Lawrence University Honors Projects. 100.