Category: Germany

Oct 03 2019

Structuring the State by Daniel Ziblatt

Structuring the State

At the start of the nineteenth century’s second half, Germany and Italy were both patchworks of states; by century’s end, both were united kingdoms taking their place among Europe’s great powers. Similar ideas drove the leaders of unification in both regions, yet the states that emerged from the wars and negotiations were quite different. Though …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/10/03/structuring-the-state-by-daniel-ziblatt/

Sep 21 2019

Schellingstrasse 48 by Walter Kolbenhoff

Schellingstrasse 48

For all that it is a Millionenstadt, Munich can also be quite a small town. Literary and artistic Munich even more so. Thus it’s not very surprising that in Schellingstrasse 48 (48 Schelling St.), Walter Kolbenhoff’s memoir of the Nazi era, POW internment in America, and early post-war Munich, other authors from the Süddeutsche Zeitung‘s …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/09/21/schellingstrasse-48-by-walter-kolbenhoff/

Jul 21 2019

Tauben im Gras by Wolfgang Koeppen

Tauben im Gras by Wolfgang Koeppen

Wolfgang Koeppen was born in 1906 and thus grew up in Germany’s Weimar years. He published his first two novels after the Nazi takeover but before the war began. At first, his work as a scriptwriter for film studios in Munich made him exempt from the draft. Following a bomb attack, he went underground and …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/07/21/tauben-im-gras-by-wolfgang-koeppen/

Jun 17 2019

Der Vater eines Mörders by Alfred Andersch

Der Vater eines Moerders

In May 1928, the director of an old-fashioned high school in Munich enters a ninth grade classical Greek class to check and see how the students are coming along with their lessons. Der Vater eines Mörders tells how one student, Franz Kien, experienced the hour, what he saw and heard, what he thought and felt. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/06/17/der-vater-eines-morders-by-alfred-andersch/

May 19 2019

Hitler’s Empire by Mark Mazower

In Hitler’s Empire Mark Mazower, a professor of history at Columbia University, describes how Nazi Germany ruled most of the rest of Europe. Briefly, Nazi rule was both incompetent and inhumane. In that sense, Mazower’s book does not break much new ground. Instead, it takes on several other interesting tasks. It situates Nazism “as an …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/05/19/hitlers-empire-by-mark-mazower/

May 18 2019

Barbarossa by Alan Clark

Barbarossa by Alan Clark

So I asked the friend whose copy of Barbarossa I had acquired what the virtues were of an account published in 1965. He replied that Clark wrote clearly and was particularly good on the politicking among the German generals, and between the German high command and the leaders in the field. Thus encouraged, I picked …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/05/18/barbarossa-by-alan-clark/

Feb 24 2019

Expedition zu den Polen by Steffen Moeller

Steffen Möller’s second genial book about Poland and Germany takes the train ride from Berlin to Warsaw as his frame to share more anecdotes from a life lived in both countries. Möller’s engagement with Poland began more or less on a lark, when he signed up for a language seminar in Krakow in the mid-1990s. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/02/24/expedition-zu-den-polen-by-steffen-moeller/

Feb 09 2019

Why We Took the Car by Wolfgang Herrndorf

Why We Took the Car seems to have established a fixed place in the German YA firmament since its initial publication as Tschick in 2010. Young people read it on their own, they read it for class, and it’s part of the general culture. There was a movie in 2016. It has also done well …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/02/09/why-we-took-the-car-by-wolfgang-herrndorf/

Jul 18 2018

Viva Warszawa by Steffen Moeller

Quite by accident, Steffen Möller has found himself one of the most famous contemporary Germans in Poland. He moved there in the mid-1990s for no particularly profound reasons — looking for work, looking for things to be slightly different, looking into a society that was changing rapidly, looking at a place that was at once nearby …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/07/18/viva-warszawa-by-steffen-moeller/

Jun 10 2018

Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman

Everything I said here about the greatness of the first half of Life and Fate holds true for the second. What strikes me most is how consistently he captures the contradictions of humanity, in situations both mundane and extreme. Some people are pitiless one moment and turn around and show great compassion the next; they …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/06/10/life-and-fate-by-vasily-grossman/