Pull Winito Children’s Books – False Decision – SWR2

Ravensburger Verlag has removed the two Winnetou children’s books from its program after public criticism. SWR2 literary critic Karsten Otte finds the literary quality of the Winito method for children, which has nothing to do with Karl May’s originality, “extremely poor”. The publisher’s decision was disingenuous anyway.

The soul of the people is boiling

When collective childhood memories are on the line, people’s souls boil: many generations, especially in West Germany, have devoured the works of Karl May, especially the Winito trilogy, and now this pleasant reading experience is called into question.

In any case, Ravensburger Verlag’s decision to withdraw two books on the current children’s film “The Young Chief Winnetou” after heavy criticism gives the impression that Karl May’s work is no longer justified today.

Books are bad enough to make others ashamed

The reason given by the publisher is remarkable: “The material is far from the way the indigenous people were in fact. Against this background, we as a publisher do not want to repeat or spread frivolous cliches (…)”.

Who would have thought? Indeed, the quality of these children’s books, which have only an external relationship with Karl May, is pathetic to the point of embarrassment: the dialogues are wooden, the characters cliched, the stereotypes of the so-called Wild West and noble Indians everywhere.

Ravensburger’s decision is disingenuous anyway

But Ravensburger’s decision is still a lie. Did anyone in the publishing house see the licensed products of the film company before they went to print? Although criticism from Native Americans is justified, for example, it is only marketing cessation that becomes a fundamental problem.

Because which book will be removed from the next group because it is bad or evil? Shouldn’t Brett Easton Ellis’ “American Psycho,” essentially the entirety of sexist pop culture, finally disappear from the market?

Internationally successful series like “Game of Thrones” work almost exclusively with groups of stereotypes, with means of cultural appropriation. Are there any demos coming out of the streaming service’s offices?

How “Young Leader Winito” Presents Native Americans as Stereotypes

Half-truths, exaggerations, and fears

of course not. This is also. However, the dynamics of such discussions now include the use of half-truths, exaggerations, and fears to deliberately create a mood.

As soon as Ravensberger declared himself, it was said from the angry bourgeois side that Winito had now been abolished. And that’s nonsense, books from Karl May Verlag are still available.

Attention: imagination!

Even Honorable Fellow SWR Martin Schmidt commented on ARD Tagesthemen’s Ravensburger publishing house decision with incorrect information. Perhaps a note in the book that Aboriginal life had little to do with Karl May’s “romantic peace tubes” might have helped.

In fact, there is this reference before the table of contents in both children’s books: “The movie and its retelling” are, as it is said there, “based on the world that Carl May invented around Apache. So the plot is fictional. All names and scenes are fictitious and not a true representation of how the Actual Life of the Indigenous Peoples of North America”.

There is little in common between the Winnetou tradition and the Karl May model

The phrase “based on the world invented by Karl May” speaks volumes. Anyone who takes another look at the historical-critical edition of Karl May’s work, perfectly edited by Hermann Wiedenroth and Hans Wollschäger, and especially the Winnetou volumes, will quickly realize just how little shady Ravensburg offerings relate to the original literature.

Which does not exclude today the questioning and criticism of Karl May’s excessive sympathy for the “Reds”, as the author phrased them 150 years ago, or – as has happened several times – he treated them in a cynical manner.

It should also be borne in mind that Karl May, this great philanthropist, may have done more to understand the indigenous people of German-speaking countries than the critics of the silly Wenito tradition of children, who are currently not interested in May’s fictional world anyway. . Ironically, the heated discussion follows rhetorical patterns that greatly underestimate Winito’s most cowardly spectacle.

Leave a Comment