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Purchase of Ukrainian books for libraries in Germany

Story and photo: Danylo Poliluev-Schmidt

Illustration: #OlehGryshchenko


Danylo was born in Donetsk, and he later moved to Lviv, Wrocław and Berlin to pursue higher education. He is currently studying to become a medical biotechnologist, and he is also working in this field. In his free time, he is engaged in spreading Ukrainian culture and art. The full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine further sparked Danylo’s passion for Ukrainian expression.

In the first days of the full-scale war, Danylo went to an ordinary German bookstore and was surprised to see how many books by Russian authors were on the shelves. However, there was no Ukrainian literature at all. Disappointed, Danylo took action to see if he could help to make high-quality Ukrainian literature available in Germany.

The first step was to write to Ukrainian publishing houses. Danylo asked if it was possible to export part of their editions from Ukraine, arguing that it was necessary both to save physical copies from missiles and to spread the literature abroad. So the Accessible Book campaign was launched!

Danylo’s next step was negotiating with German bookstores to purchase Ukrainian books. Currently, you can buy the books of such Ukrainian publishing houses as TheOld Lion Publishing House, A-ba-ba-ha-la-ma-ha, Vivat, Black Sheep and Apriori in the German largest bookstore Dussmann Kaufhaus and the family store Braun&Hassenplfug in Berlin. The books sell out quickly, and they are in the greatest demand among the Ukrainian diaspora. The reception by German customers has also been positive, and the books have been commended for their quality and visual design.

Danylo also coordinates a project that is buying Ukrainian books for German libraries. These are mainly books for children, as well as literature by Serhiy Zhadan, Oleh Sentsov, Sofiia Andruhovych and classics of Ukrainian literature.

Danylo and his organisation IWEK e.V. aren’t limited to this; they also collect medical supplies for hospitals in Ukraine. In addition, Danylo makes a podcast called Alarm? Conspiracy? Betrayal? in which he discusses with the diaspora the life of Ukrainians abroad, as well as news and books.


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