Heinrich Böll (1917-1985) was one of the best-known and most popular German authors following the Second World War. Much of his writing from the later forties into the mid-sixties deals precisely with the war, especially with its impact on the common soldier and the ordinary citizen. In Wo warst Du, Adam?, his first published novel, he delivers his most extensive indictment of the senseless inhumanity of this particular war, with its peculiar perversity, and, by extension, of all war.
Böll served in the German infantry, much against his will, from 1939 to 1945. During this period he was moved all over Europe between France and Russia and was wounded four times, ending the war in allied captivity. His constantly changing experience of the war may have influenced the episodic structure of
Citation: Rowland, Herbert. "Wo warst du, Adam?". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 February 2014 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=11628, accessed 09 December 2023.]