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  German Reading Price: Thoughts Are Free – Berlin | Bit Updates
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German Reading Price: Thoughts Are Free – Berlin

Sunday, November 12th, 2017 | bitcoin updates


Two years ago, Tim Raue was behind bars. The head chef from Berlin sat at a simple table, the soles squeaked on the red-brown linoleum floor, in the corners stood prison officers. Raue recounted from his youth in Kreuzberg how he broke noses as a member of the notorious gang "36Boys" and why this is as far removed from his life today as the earth is from the moon. He had his book with it: "I know what hunger is." Raue was a guest in the juvenile detention center Berlin-Brandenburg (JAA) at Kirchhainer dam and his audience were the arrested, just under 20 women and men between 14 and 21. At the Raue said to the officials: "If I have reached even a young person today, then the whole thing was really worth it." Ulf-Andre Thur has liked this sentence very much. Thur, a stocky 50-year-old with a striking bald head, has been working in the JAA since 2001 as a group supervisor. He is mainly responsible for people like Tim Raue coming out to Lichtenrade to read from their books. Former football international Uli Borowka started in 2012 and told of his double life as a professional and alcoholic, Thomas Gottschalk was there and then lent his listeners his flash jacket for souvenir photos. Next week, the time-journalist and former Tagesspiegel volunteer Mohamed Amjahid will present his book "Unter Weißen" – already the eleventh reading in the detention center. Thomas Gottschalk, too, could already be won as a reader. Photo: privateThe prominent guests were only one reason why the Stiftung Lesen Thur nominated for the German Reading Award on behalf of the JAA. A prize endowed with a total of 19,500 euros, which distinguishes "innovative reading promotion measures" and that's why Thur sat with his bosses in the Humboldt Carré on Thursday evening and listened to the laudatory speech by presenter Bettina Cramer. The jury decided that it was astonishing how they could design such a library selection behind bars with so few financial possibilities and ranked Thur second in the category "Outstanding individual commitment": 1500 euros for the ever expanding book fund. Eight years ago, the library of the detention center consisted of a small room with three shelves full of books that the prison officials had sorted out from their own holdings. Thur leafed through old sheet music and worn-out bulky refuse literature, which otherwise put the Berliners in cardboard boxes on the street. Together with the then social worker Stefanie Wolff, he took care of the matter, went to publishers and authors, was advised by the nearby community library Blankenfelde-Mahlow and got tips from the Friends of prison libraries. Today, the inmates in each of the three different groups of residential areas each have their own room, and the library's holdings have been so sustainably afforested by book donations that no 17-year-old has yet to resort to the tattered sheet of music.

Reading aloud instead of cooking: Tim RauePhoto: privateBiographies, comics, magazines and photo books are particularly popular, but also specific literature on addiction problems or right-wing radicalism, because who is here, has its own story. For at least two days to a maximum of four weeks remains, who was sentenced by the court for short-term imprisonment, because other educational measures are no longer effective and a juvenile punishment is not yet required. Dodgers, wild fishermen, thieves, swindlers – Thur and his colleagues have the explicit task to make the stay of young people educational. Mobile phones are taken off on the first day and if after 20 clock and the last single cell is closed, grab many arrested to the book. If they ever read to you, Thur is asked regularly. That's what they do, he replies. And feels reassured when he hears one of the arrested after the reading of the policeman Cid Jonas Gutenrath: "Finally a cool cop!" Reading, says Thur, does not prevent the youngsters from continuing to commit stupidity. One with whom he can talk animatedly about Dan Brown has been here three times already. "But reading makes something happen in my head," says Thur. And here, at the short end of so many petty criminal biographies, that's a good start.

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