The content of the novel reflects many events and personalities from real life. Licco, Berta, Salvator and many other of the characters in the novel are fictional, but are strongly inspired by real people from the author's family. Ilko Minev combines their experiences and feelings and portrays them in As Flowers Go.
The title of the novel
The title As Flowers Go was inspired by the famous folk song Where Have All the Flowers Gone? The song was originally written and performed by Pete Seeger. In 1960 Joe Hickerson added further verses and made the song popular.
Ilko Minev drew his inspiration from Marlene Dietrich's version of this symbolic song. Marlene Dietrich performed it in several languages, including English, French and German. She performed the song in French for the first time at a UNICEF concert in 1962 with the title Qui peut dire où vont les fleurs? She also recorded the song in English and in German, the latter titled Sag' mir, wo die Blumen sind,
with lyrics translated by Max Colpet. She was the first person to perform the German version of the song in Israel after WWII.
Where Have All the Flowers Gone? is a contemporary and iconic anti-war song. It describes the cycle of events that occur
during a war and it proves that wars are meaningless and harmful to the human population. It raises the question
"When will they ever learn?"