Karlsruhe Dialogues 2010

Organized Crime - Dark Sides of Globalization

Petra Reski




was born in Kamen/Germany in 1958. She studied Romance languages and social sciences in Trier, Münster and Paris, and visited the renowned Henri Nannen School for Journalism in Hamburg.
After she graduated she began working as an editor of the Stern’s foreign desk. In 1991, Reski moved to Venice/Italy, where she still lives and works as a journalist and author. She reports from Italy for the German daily Die Zeit, and writes feature stories about worldwide topics for Geo, Focus and other magazines. A main focus of her work as a journalist and author is the mafia phenomenon. Her first book, “Rita Atria. Eine Frau gegen die Mafia“ (Rita Atria. A Woman Against the Mafia), published in 1994, describes the ordeal of a young Sicilian woman who testifies against the mafia. In her most recent publication, “Mafia. Von Paten, Pizzerien und falschen Priestern“ (Mafia. A Tale of Godfathers, Pizzerias and Fake Priests) (2008), Reski points up that the mafia is not a problem specific to Italy, but that it is also present in Germany, for example.

After this book came out, Reski was publicly threatened and, what’s more, faced an avalanche of lawsuits. Some of the protagonists of this mafia book living in Germany achieved via injunctions at German courts that certain sections of the books be blackened out. However, this did not affect the success of the book. By now, it has been translated into seven languages, including Italian.
In Italy she was awarded numerous prizes for her engagement against the mafia, for example the Amalfi Coast Media Award for international journalists and the Premio Civitas, an award recognizing anti-Mafia work, especially of women. In Germany, Reski was nominated reporter of the year by the magazine Medium (2008). Among numerous other awards she also received the Columbus-Autorenpreis and the Hansel-Mieth-Preis for dedicated coverage.