By Kevin Winter
Manhattan Book Review
October 13th, 2015
Where do we separate fact from fiction? When telling a story that is based on fact, where does one start and the other end? This book is inspired by the true story of a young Jew who was born in Hannover, but considered Polish. While he is living in exile in France, he walks into the Reich Embassy and shoots dead a consular official, which kicks off the Night of the Broken Glass. This story takes place after his arrest by the French, and eventual deportation to Nazi Germany. It is told through a series of letters to his German lawyer, awaiting his upcoming trial. In it the young man tells of his growing up in Hannover, his journey to Paris, and his life in Paris in trying to survive in a country that does not want him; but unable to go back to Hannover because the Germans do not want him either. Literally a man without a country.
The concept is interesting. Telling the story through a series of letters, all one way. It is a bit long and the letters do get a bit dense, but it opens up a world that is largely ignored. A Europe between the wars.