Book of the Week
Jürgen Todenhöfer: WARUM TÖTEST DU, ZAID?
C. Bertelsmann · München, 2008 · 334 pp
WHY DID YOU KILL, ZAID?
This book challenges the powerful propaganda machinery of the US administration and the distorted picture it is painting of Iraq. Jürgen Todenhöfer wants to open up a path for truth and justice – justice for a tormented nation.
Jürgen Todenhöfer, whose bestsellers "Who Would Cry for Abdul and Tanaya?" and "Andy and Marwa" met with huge critical acclaim, has been back to Iraq.
This time he was in contact with some of those people who are responsible for the horrific events we hear about in the daily news and who we think we know so much about – and yet know nothing:
In this book, Todenhöfer writes about the Iraqi resistance fighters against whom the US armed forces have been fighting bitterly for four years and who despise and abhor even the al-Qaeda terror attacks because they almost always also cause the deaths of their own compatriots.
His book paints a very different picture of an Iraq destroyed by the war and allows those to speak who would otherwise go unheard in the haze of media propaganda and power politics.
The story of the young resistance fighter Zaid reflects the history of a nation struggling for freedom and dignity. Jürgen Todenhöfer meets people fighting both the occupying forces and the terror of al-Qaeda.
He talks to 22-year-old Zaid, who has lost almost everything in this war and, like the majority of the Iraqi population, joined the opposition, and tells his distressing story.
The book is accompanied by a huge marketing campaign, including two double-page advertisements of his 10 theses in the New York Times and in an Arab newspaper, as well as a special website www.whydoyoukillzaid.com.
An English draft translation of the book is available.
Jürgen Todenhöfer, born in 1940, studied Law in Munich, Paris, Bonn and Freiburg. For almost two decades he was a CDU member of the Bundestag, where he specialised in armaments control and development aid policy.
Today he is deputy chairman of the board at the Hubert Burda Media, while also remaining active in the field of politics.
His book "Who Would Cry for Abdul and Tanaya?" became a best seller and generated a powerful response in the media.
He uses the royalties from his books to fund a home in Kabul for war-wounded children and an educational centre for street children in Baghdad. Further such initiatives are planned for the future.