2 September 2007

Fred Uhlman, Reunion, 1971

A first-person novella about a Jewish German schoolboy who befriends a classmate from an Aryan, aristocratic family with Nazi sympathies. It’s 1933, Hitler has just become Chancellor and official attitudes towards Jews are changing, as is the foundation of their friendship. As a microcosm of the Jewish German experience the book only skirts the edges of the politics, focussing instead on the tensions that pull the two boys apart. In his introduction Arthur Koestler describes the book’s tone well: “There is none of the Wagnerian fury; it is as if Mozart had re-written the Götterdämmerung.” A straightforward tale, but also quietly memorable.  PY


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