The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum or How Violence Can Develop and Where It Can Lead (Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum or Wie Gewalt entstehen und wohin sie führen kann) is a 1974 novel by Heinrich Böll.

The story deals with the sensationalism of tabloid news and the political climate of panic over Red Army Faction terrorism in the 1970s Federal Republic of Germany. The main character, Katharina Blum, is an innocent housekeeper whose life is ruined by an invasive tabloid reporter and a police investigation when the man with whom she has just fallen in love turns out to be wanted by the police because of a bank robbery. Later it turns out that he "only" emptied a safe and deserted. Ultimately she shoots the reporter, after she invited him to her house for an interview. The book's fictional tabloid paper, Die ZEITUNG (The Newspaper), is modeled on the actual German Bild-Zeitung.

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