Artist, civil servant, politician, and diplomat – Dieter Sattler was all of these. As Bavarian State Secretary of the Fine Arts, cultural attache in Rome, head of the West German Foreign
Ministry's cultural section, and ambassador to the Holy See, he helped shape, behind the scenes, West Germany’s cultural policies of the post-war era.
Ulrike Stoll’s biography of Sattler portrays a fascinating personality with far-flung contacts. It illuminates the limits and possibilities for a second-tier policy maker, thereby shining
light onto a previously neglected field of research.
The individual themes Stoll discusses are varied. Sattler belonged to the founding fathers of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts and the Munich-based Institut für Zeitgeschichte (Institute for Contemporary
History). He negotiated the return of impounded German language institutes in Italy and built up the Goethe Institute into the flagship of German culture abroad. Sattler cultivated ties to
such major figures as Romano Guardini, Carlo Schmid, and Theodor Heuss, and established fertile discussion circles. Stoll’s book draws on a rich treasure of source material, including
Sattler's previously sealed diaries.
Stoll's study received the Rave Research Prize of the Stuttgart-based Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (Institute for Foreign Relations).