Charlotte Wiedemann - Portrait

About me

1954 born in Moenchengladbach, one of the most western parts of what was then West-Germany.

In 1979 I got a Master Degree in Educational Science and Sociology from the University of Goettingen, later another degree from the Hamburg School of Journalism.

From 1983 up to 1999 I worked as political correspondent and reporter with several dailys and weeklys in Bonn, Hamburg and Berlin, writing about domestic policies and contemporary history. From 1990 with focus on new nationalism after German Unification, the rebirth of right-wing intellectualism and the so called forgotten victimes of the Third Reich on the other side of the former Iron curtain (east-europaen Jews and forced labourers).

Also lecturing at several Media Academies.

In 1999 I changed to foreign affairs reporting. Lived for four years in Malaysia, covering stories all over South East Asia on human rights, societal developments and inter-faith relations. From the material later grew my first book ("The hut of small phrases").

Since 2004 based in Germany as a traveling freelance foreign reporter, mostly on Muslim or Islamicate societies. Research trips to many countries in the Middle East (more correctly: Westasia) and to North- and West-Africa, often for "Die Zeit", Geo or Le Monde Diplomatique, sometimes for my book projects and or as guide for civil society related travel programs.

Mali as well as Iran fascinated me most, over the years I went there again and again and wrote books on both societies. ("Mali or the wrestling for dignity", 2014. "The new Iran. A society steps out of the shadow", 2017 and 2019). My findings in various Muslim societies, particulary with regards to the many roles of women, led to the book "You know nothing about us. My journeys through an unknown Islam", 2008 and 2012.

Reflections about the impact of western media, about Eurocentrism and my personal experiences in other cultures led to an autobiografical collection of essaies "About the attempt not to write white", published 2012 and again 2018.

Later I extended my thinking more general to race relations, postcolonialism and the global decline of the white people to whom I belong. "The long farewell to white dominance" was released in fall 2019. Written again in a personal style I examine what has changed since my childhood, within Germany and beyond, with one focus on the meaning of the Shoah in times of migration and right wing populism. I expanded these thoughts in my recent more comprehensive book "Understanding the Pain of Others. Holocaust and World Memory" (2022). 

Selection of translated reports