Associations, Lobbying

It was only in the late 1960s and early 1970s that professional associations of writers were set up again in Germany and Austria. The Verband deutscher Schriftsteller (VS) was founded in Cologne in 1969, inter alia by Günter Grass, Heinrich Böll and Martin Walser, the IG Autoren in Vienna in 1971 by Hilde Spiel and Milo Dor. Before and during that time, several other groups were re-established or newly founded: the Österreichische Schriftstellerverband in 1945, the Austrian PEN-Club (initially established in1923, re-established in 1947) and the Grazer Autorenversammlung in 1973. The creation of IG Autoren provided a common representative body for the social and ideational rights of Austrian authors which still exists in this form today. Between 1979 and 1981, a committee consisting of representatives of IG Autoren and other literary organisations and institutions organised the largest meeting of writers in Austria’s history, the Erster österreichischer Schriftstellerkongreß, with roughly 800 participants. This conference drafted and adopted a catalogue of measures which was followed-up on and successively implemented by IG Autoren in the following decades.