What does the official story mean

"You are very naive, Herr de Winter"

Transmission date: May 30th, 2021 7:00 p.m.
Leon de Winter is one of the most successful writers in the Netherlands.

The Dutch author Leon de Winter wrote the novel for the radio play "Geronimo". It tells an alternative version of the hunt for the top terrorist Osama bin Laden. In an interview with NDR Radiokunst, de Winter talks about the history of its creation.

What was the reason for this novel? What is your narrative concern?

Leon de Winter: I met the "real" Tom exactly one year after the commando operation. And when I congratulated him on the success of the Seals unit, he asked me if I actually believed the official story. I said yes. And he replied: You are very naive, Herr de Winter. He didn't explain his answer, but I was shocked. I took this as an opportunity to write my own version of the events.

What did your research look like?

de winter: I've read everything about bin Laden and spoken to members of the military and intelligence services.

Did you have contact with American and Israeli secret services?

de winter: No. Just to the "real" Tom that I met. But not to official representatives.

Osama bin Laden is a historical figure. How difficult is it to write fictionally about someone like that?

de winter: I tried to find personal and intimate moments. I didn't have to describe him in his historical role. This made it possible.

How do you like our radio play?

de winter: I was deeply impressed and surprised by the solutions you found. I didn't think it would be possible to even adopt the literary structure, but you showed me that it was possible after all. I congratulate!

The interview was conducted by Susanne Hoffmann.

Biography: Leon de Winter

Leon de Winter was born on February 26, 1954 in 's-Hertogenbosch born the son of Dutch Orthodox Jews. His parents survived World War II and the Holocaust in hiding with Catholic priests and nuns. Nine out of ten of his uncles and aunts were murdered in the concentration camp.

De Winter studied at the Film Academy in Amsterdam, which he left without a degree a year before his exams.

From 1976 he established himself as a freelance writer alongside filmmaking. Today he is considered one of the most internationally successful Dutch authors. His work includes novels, short stories and scripts, including "Leo Kaplan" (1986), "Hoffmanns Hunger" (1990), "SuperTex" (1991), "Sokolows Universum" (1992), "Malibu" (2002), " The Right to Return "(2008)," A Good Heart "(2013). "The Hollywood Heaven" was filmed by Sönke Wortmann. In addition, de Winter gained increasing prominence as a blogger and author of opinion articles with decidedly Islam-critical and pro-Israeli positions. De Winter is a guest author of the "Axis of the Good".

Leon de Winter lives alternately in Amsterdam and LA.


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NDR culture | Radio play | 05/30/2021 | 7:00 p.m.