Russian author Friedrich Gorenstein was born on March 18, 1932 in Kiev, which was a city in the Soviet Union back then (now Ukraine). At a young age, Gorenstein lost his parents. His father became a victim of Stalin's ferocious regime, while his mother died of tuberculosis. The poor boy grew up in an orphanage.
A child of his father, Friedrich Gorenstein also had problems with the government, especially with the state censorship. Despite the many difficulties, he worked as scenario writer for Soviet movies. He gained fame through his scenario for the movie Solaris, directed by Andrei Tarkovski.
The Russian Jew moved to West Berlin in 1979, making sure his writings found an audience despite his relatively high age. Themes in his work were Stalinism, anti-Semitism and the relationship between Christians and Jews. In West Germany (and later Germany) he published Die Sühne (1979), Der Platz (1995) and Malen wie die Vögel singen (1996). In these fairytale-like stories, Gorenstein merged autobiographic elements with philosophic-religious assessments.
Gorenstein had been ill for a long time before he died last Saturday, March 2, 2002, in Berlin, shortly before his 70th birthday.