Petra Karin Kelly (1947–1992) was one of the best known personalities in public life during the 1980s; an icon of the global ban-the-bomb and peace movements and a protagonist for ecology and human rights. She was willful and full of energy, fascinating and provocative. Her political passion, which was grounded in a deep compassion, swept many people away and unsettled many others. She could combine the commonplace with the universal and gave a language and new symbols to the ideas and initiatives that forced their way from the non-parliamentary into the political sphere and ultimately led to the founding of the Green Party. But all this is not just history; much of it lives on in the here and now: in the array of commitments to climate policy, gender justice, European unification, Tibet... It is worth reflecting on what has remained valuable and vital from that time until the present day, and remembering how it all started.
The many photographs in the book – some previously unpublished – trace the most important stations in the life of Petra Kelly, shedding light on what formed her and giving an insight into the origins of the Greens. Extracts from original texts by Petra Kelly elucidate not only the personal motives for her political commitment, but also the hopes, anxieties and struggles of her time. Contemporaries as well as the “future generation” express their views on Petra Kelly. Six essays illuminate her life and work. An appendix with information on the Petra Kelly Foundation and the Petra Kelly Archive rounds the book off.
Essays in the book
- Ralf Fücks: Petra Kelly and the Greens. Renewed Rapprochement
- Lukas Beckmann: “Start where you are.” The Life of Petra K. Kelly
- Helmut Wiesenthal: Petra Kelly’s “Political Theory” – An Exploratory Experiment
- Ulrike Poppe: “The support we needed”. Petra Kelly and the East German Opposition
- Marieluise Beck: A story of Rise and Alienation: Petra Kelly and the Greens
- Udo Baron: The Unresolved Death of Petra K. Kelly
Petra Kelly. A Remembrance
Published by the Heinrich Böll Foundation Berlin, November 2008
Translator: Allison Brown
192 pages, over 140 photographs,
price: € 20,00