The author reads about life in the Santa Vue prison in Hamburg on August 21, 2022 – interview with Rolf Gustfeld

Rolf Gustefeld with his book “Liebesgitter” (Photo: BürgerStiftung Region Ahrensburg)

Since the Corona lockdowns, more and more people are looking for ways to experience culture again. Rolf Gestefeld provides suggestions and inspiration in a clear way.


Liebesgitter – A novel about life in the Santa Fo prison in Hamburg

The love story lifts the curtain on life behind the prison gates, its challenges and crises, and the daily lives of servants and inmates. The result is an intelligent portrait of society, cleverly written, full of drama and excitement.

Read author by BürgerStiftung on August 21, 2022

At the invitation of the BürgerStiftung Region Ahrensburg, Rolf Gestefeld will come to read the author in Ahrensburg.

Rolf Gestfeld studied law. He worked in the judiciary in Hamburg until his retirement, notably as head of the prison system, and as judge and president of the Hamburg Supreme Administrative Court.

Five Questions by Rolf Gustfeld

What distinguishes the romantic novel “Liebesgitter?

On the one hand, there are different, even contradictory worlds, in which Raymond and Martina move. Both work behind the prison walls and face the pressures and challenges of the prisoner’s world. But they also travel to the distant stranger. There you will not only encounter the world of tourism. Their love story was combined into a picture of some areas of our society. At the same time, I rely on this, the novel does not attract the reader just because of its sensitive psychological development of its main character, Raymond. In my opinion, the subtly built suspense arc propels the reader forward. What is Raymond’s shock based on? Will Martina and Raymond’s therapist, Mrs. Malthus, succeed in freeing him from his slumber and clearing the way back to his service? Does Martina’s love survive, and there’s also a light saxophonist, Olaf, the burdens and rods imprisoning Raymond’s strings and feelings?

On the other hand, I think that the change between the perspective of the first-person narrator Raymond and the author narrator gives the novel its own appeal. Increase the different time levels of the story. They never confuse readers, but they offer variety.

What prompted you to write this book?

I am interested in a literary portrait of the prison world. However, few in the world are behind bars from the point of view of prisoners, as Valada succeeded in his work “Who eats once from a tin pot”. I put these guys up front who are doing their best there for the socialization of criminals. I learned to appreciate them while working as head of the Hamburg Correctional Office.

How realistic are Santa Fo’s descriptions of the prison world?

Despite all the fiction, there are many real events behind the events of my novel, including the dramatic events that are typical of the world beyond the walls. In this regard, I chat a little outside the sewing box.

Which part of the book will you read from on 08/21/2022?

First of all, I would like to take listeners with Raymond and Martina to life behind the doors of Santa Fo. Then after the collapse, it falls far south of India and we get closer causing the shock and collapse of Raymond.

What can readers take away from the book for themselves and their lives?

They can take an insight into the world of closed doors, as well as answers to questions about why crime and prisons exist and why they work to rehabilitate people. At the same time, the relationship between Raymond and Martina can provide a source of reflection, as can the sometimes caught tangles. Perhaps the challenge of never giving up will make you think. And last but not least – I hope – you will spend hours reading, filled with vibrant linguistic images.

Rolf Gestefeld Love lattice Hope dwells in the dark, 258 pages, €16.80 IDEA Verlag (ISBN 978-3-88793-2044-2).

Read the author With Rolf Gestefeld on August 21, 2022, 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm at the Am Heimgarten School Center, Reesenbüttler Redder 4-10, 22926 Ahrensburg. Participation is free, donations are welcome. Registration is not required.

Text: Photo: BürgerStiftung Region Ahrensburg / Editor

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