First published in 1952, the novel Spark of Life written by Erich Maria about a German concentration camp headed in controversial reactions by the literary critics. For this master thesis, 146 articles published in German- and foreign-speaking newspapers and magazines in between 1952 and 1960, have been analysed. The investigation is based on the reader response theory developed by Hans Robert Jauß, who emphasizes the importance of interpretation by the reader, and enhances the aesthetics of literature by criticism and the impact of book reviews. The concept of the Histoire Croisée of Michael Werner und Bénédicte Zimmermann also enables an analytic view of the foreign-language reviews. The target of this thesis is to illustrate the most controversial points of the literary criticism ? the positive as well as the negative ones. The reviews will be classified under consideration of the possible political orientation of the media, the author of the review as well as under the historical environment. Simultaneous it will be revealed, what Remarques intentions were regarding towards some critical passage in the Spark of Life and how different these intentions are understood by the literary critics. In a final comparison of reviews from German-speaking countries, America, former Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Israel and Sweden, the more severe evaluations by the German-speaking media will be explained.