Longtime publisher hans-joachim gelberg is dead. The publisher and author died on sunday at the age of 89 in weinheim (baden-wurttemberg), as the beltz publishing group announced on monday.
Gelberg had campaigned to break down the separation between the worlds of children and adults with children’s books. As head of publishing, he challenged authors such as peter hartling and christine nostlinger, but especially janosch. Gelberg became one of the most important publishers of children’s and young people’s books of the post-war period.
1971 the publisher manfred beltz rubelmann had brought the bookseller and editor gelberg to weinheim. The young publishing director launched a new children’s and youth book program with orange bindings. In the same year, the "jahrbuch der kinderliteratur" was launched, which appeared until 1999. As early as 1972, gelberg received the german youth book prize for the first "jahrbuch" with the title "geh und spiel mit dem riesen" ("go and play with the giant"). In the wake of the student revolution of 1968, its authors made their mark in the 1970s at the beltz& publishing house career and won numerous prizes.
Gelberg, who was born in dortmund, always emphasized that children’s books should neither instruct nor exclude reality: "literature that is not in tune with the reality of the times has only museum-like functions." bucher had to be "always new and never imitated". Many children’s books lived only five years and then became old-fashioned.
In 1997 gelberg left the publishing house and took up a lectureship at the university of frankfurt. He continued to work as an editor, author and speaker. In weinheim’s district of lutzelsachsen, the hans-joachim-gelberg elementary school has commemorated the publisher since 2014.