On this page:

  • Bonhoeffer
  • Der Boxer   New 2015!

  • Castro
  • Freud: die ganze Wahrheit
  • Goethe: die ganze Wahrheit
  • Luther

Stetter, Moritz.  Bonhoeffer.  Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2010.

ISBN-13: 978-3579070506

Bonhoeffer by Moritz Stetter is a biographical account of the theologian and opposition leader World War II, Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  Blends realistic drawings and striking images that represent the psychological aspects of tyranny.



teenmature The book deals with the Holocaust, so it does contain intense violence (Mature), but they are themes that many curricula would already cover (Teen).


Kleist, Reinhard. Der Boxer. Carlson, 2012. 

ISBN 13: 978-3551786975, 200 pages.

Sample Text: First and Second Page: Miami, September 1963.  ,,Wenn mein Vater etwas sagte, duldete er keinen Widerspruch. Ich wäre lieber mit meinen Geschwistern an den Pool gegangen..aber Vater bestand darauf, dass ich ihn begleiten sollte.

Ich hatte oft Angst vor ihm. Für mich war er der stärkste Mann der Welt, schliesslich war er einmal Boxer gewesen. Er war kein Vater, der mit seinem Sohn Baseball spielte, und häufig war er jähzornig.”    

Divided into three main parts, this biographical sketch tells the true story of Hertzko Haft, concentration camp survivor who later went on to become a professional boxer in the United States.

Der Boxer

Part 1 details his life in the concentration camp and his subsequent escape. In realistic and disturbing pictures, Kleist introduces the reader to the sport of boxing in the concentration camp: staged fights performed for the amusement of the officers.  As Kleist shows, Haft had to box other prisoners who barely had the strength to stand in the ring.


Part 2 covers his emigration to New York City, where he began a boxing career. His most significant fight was against Rocky Marciano.  As the book chronicles, he intentionally lost after having been threatened by the Mafia.


Part 3, the notably shortest section of the book, deals with reuniting with and reconciling with family. Hertzko meets up again with his former girlfriend Leah and begins speaking with his son about the past. Hertzko’s son, whose words had opened the book, also ends the book with these words: ,,Es dauerte vierzig Jahre, bis mir mein Vater schliesslich seine Lebensgeschichte erzählte.”

An extensive appendix entitled Boxen im KZ offers a brief yet comprehensive historical summary of this phenomenon, photos of Haft that the author contrasts with his own sketches, and biographies of other Jewish boxers.


Kleist, Reinhard. Castro. Carlson, 2010. 

ISBN 13: 978-3551789655

Sample Text: First Page:  ,,Ich hatte meinen Fokus ununterbrochen auf die Rednertribüne gerichtet. Dort stand Fidel. Seine Worte waren wütende Anklagen, seine Gesten Bewegungen eines Nahkämpfers vor uns ausgebreitet lagen 75 Opfer, die bei dem Bombenattentat auf den Frachter ,,La coubre” im Hafen von Havanna ums Leben gekommen waren.” 

Fictional account of a German journalist, Karl Mertens, who travels to Cuba where he meets the young Fidel Castro and follows him through his transition from revolutionary to communist dictator.

Castro covercastro sample

rating pending

Moser, Christian.  Freud: die ganze Wahrheit. Carlsen, 2006.

ISBN 13: 978-3551781956

What more can be said about Freud?  Finally, Freud’s couch breaks its silence and reveals the truth.

This graphic novel does not have a lot of illustrations. Instead it offers much more written text than picture at an educated native speaker level.

Freud coverfreud sample

rating pending

Moser, Christian. Goethe: die ganze Wahrheit.  Carlsen, 2007. 

ISBN 13: 978-3551786470

The biographical story of Goethe told from the perspective of Mephisto’s diary entries. The book presents a mix of text and graphic. The language would probably be too hard for most German language learners.

Advanced students could probably handle the language level especially if they have a relatively solid background of Goethe’s biography.

The text has relatively few illustrations, but the ones it does offer could be used to help students create a timeline of Goethe’s life.  Some images would be inappropriate for high school students.

Roterdorn Review

Goethe covergoethe sample

matureFor level of language required and some of the graphics.

Stetter, Moritz. Luther. Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlag, 2013.

ISBN-13: 978-3-579-07054-4

Sample Text: From the first two pages:  “Dies ist die Geschichte eines jungen Studenten, der sich auf dem Rückweg von einem Semesterurlaub bei den Eltern befindet.  Er hat gerade mit Bravour die Magisterwürde erworben. Eine glänzende Zukunft als Jurist wartet auf ihn. Der Vater hat ihm eine ehrbare und reiche Heirat arrangiert.” 

This book offers a graphic novel version of Martin Luther’s biography. It also contains short biographical sketches of other primary religious contemporaries.  Much more than just a biographical account, the author/illustrator offers distinct and extremely compelling illustrations of key turning points or personal revelations in Luther’s life. For example, when he struggles with his own sin, the author depicts Luther wrestling with an oversized dark figure.  His depictions of hell and demons are fittingly grotesque and disturbing.  The author/illustrator is also not afraid to portray Luther’s legendary crudeness and vulgarity. Many pictures show various types of bodily functions or sins of the flesh.

It would be valuable to use because it really offers compelling images of Luther’s strongest convictions and how he struggled with them every day.

Luther_Cover-e1363185373901Old pics3 4

Radio Interview with Stetter on Deutschlandfunk

teen A lot of valuable biographical information about the reformer and an impressive artistic interpretation.  Nudity and depictions of urination, defecation and vomiting.

One response to “Biography

  1. You seriously make it look so simple with your delivery but I
    find this concept to be actually one thing that I feel I’d not at all understand. It seems too complex and extremely extensive for me. Nevertheless, I’m excited to see
    what you have to say in later posts: hopefully I’ll be able to grasp it eventually.

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