Peter Härtling (born 13 November 1933) is a German writer and poet. He is a member of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and he received the Großes Verdienstkreuz for his major contribution to German literature. ¨ Härtling was born at Chemnitz and spent the early part of his childhood living in Hartmannsdorf, Mittweida, where his father maintained a law firm. Following the outbreak of World War II, the family moved to the German-occupied town of Olomouc in Moravia. Härtling had his first collection of poetry published in 1953.