Back to school at 63 – One man’s story | Reporter - On Location | DW | 26.09.2020
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Back to school at 63 – One man’s story

Gerhard Prange concealed the fact that he could not read or write for years. In Germany alone six million people are estimated to be in a similar position. But now he wants to change all that.

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Gerhard Prange is one of six million Germans who are unable to read or write. Letters from the authorities were left unanswered, leading to all kinds of problems; Prange began drinking and his marriage broke up. Finally he reached a turning point, and admitted that he was illiterate. For him, it was a liberating move and since then his life has improved. He’s stopped drinking, has a regular job and above all, the 63 year old has decided to go back to school and take part in a literacy course. He still needs nearly an hour to write a sentence without mistakes, with the help of a teacher. But he’s set himself a goal, one day Gerhard Prange plans to write a letter to his adult daughter. A report by Axel Rowohlt.