On a visit to Cologne in March 1945, after a heavy bombing, I met hundreds and hundreds of deserters who were squatting in the rubble, many in the deep cellars left from Roman times. They had been hiding there after the retreat from France.
Because the completion of labour service was a precondition for permission to study at the university, I was able to begin my studies of Germanistics and Classical Philology during the summer term of 1939.
No one will ever know how many novels, poems, analyses, confessions, sufferings and joys have been piled up on this continent called Love, without it ever having turned out to be totally investigated.
Between 1950 and 1951, I worked as a temporary employee in the Cologne Bureau of Statistics. From summer 1951 on, I have lived as a freelance writer with a fixed postal address in Cologne but with a continually shifting place of work.