History of the Prize

Harald Weinrich had the great idea of convincing the Robert Bosch Stiftung of the value of establishing the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize. Initially the prize awarded authors writing in German language to which they have migrated and which has become part of themselves. In the 1980s, the literature honored by the prize was still called "guest worker literature” and later "migration literature", but today it has become a natural part of contemporary German literature, and is often simply described as "Chamisso Literature". It extends to artistic and literary adaptation and makes the work by Adelbert von Chamisso Prize winners a natural part of contemporary German language literature. Therefore, the definition of the prize has been enlarged in 2012.

Since the first prizes were awarded in 1985 to Aras Ören and Rafik Schami, 78 writers from more than twenty different countries have won the award. Since 1997, the "Honorary Endowment of the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize of Robert Bosch Stiftung" has been awarded to three people whose life work has contributed in a special way to the aims of the prize: Jirí Grusa, Imre Kertész and Harald Weinrich.