Stuttgart / Marbach (Neckar), 8 May 2008. At the Museum of Modern Literature in Marbach, Porsche Automobil Holding SE of Stuttgart today officially handed over a significant present to the German Literature Archives, which also have their premises there. It is a valuable manuscript written by cultural theorist and author Walter Benjamin (1892-1940): "Berlin Childhood Around 1900", his recollections noted down in 1932 and dedicated to Stefan, his only son.
At the press conference, Anton Hunger, who heads the sports car manufacturer's press department, declared: "We can envisage no better place than the German Literature Archives in Marbach, which happens to be in our immediate neighborhood, for the safe keeping of this important handwritten document. We know how much care is devoted there to preserving these literary treasures."
Porsche acquired this manuscript, which consists of 28 sheets, from the Stuttgart antiquarian Herbert Blank. In 2001, Porsche AG had already purchased the reconstructed library of author Franz Kafka
(1883-1924) from him and presented it to the Franz Kafka Society in Prague.
This donation of the "Stefan" manuscript to the German Literature Archives in Marbach is the latest in a series of projects undertaken by Porsche with the aim of promoting culture and in particular literature.
Porsche has a tradition of promoting literature and especially items in the German language. Readers of the periodical "Deutsche Sprachwelt" ("German Language World") recently chose Porsche as "Protector of the Language" for the year 2007. An example of its activities is Porsche's long-term cooperation with the Goethe Institute, which is aimed at making German more attractive worldwide to those learning a foreign language.
The German language also played a part in an earlier Porsche project, which concerned the Kafka Library. It is doubtful whether the German language, with its clarity and abundance of nuances, ever enjoyed a 'golden age' equal to that experienced in Prague in Kafka's time. Today the collection in the Czech capital is accessible in particular to lovers of literature and researchers from all over the world.
In the same way, it is intended that Walter Benjamin's "Stefan" manuscript should be available in future to a correspondingly larger number of experts and interested persons at the German Literature Archives. To commemorate its acquisition, the original handwritten sheets will be exhibited in the Museum of Modern Literature from today until August 31, 2008.
Photographic material to this event is available to accredited journalists from the Porsche press database at the Internet address http://presse.porsche.de/.