Esther Leslie

German Tragedy

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Review of 'Weimar in Exile', Jean-Michel Palmier, Verso £29.99

"How can we writers achieve a writing that kills?" asks Bertolt Brecht in the opening of this book. For Brecht, the urgent task is to produce literature that is able to shatter Nazi ideology and completely undermine fascist barbarism.

Brecht's is fighting talk, but it is defensive, for by the time he issues his call to arms German intellectual life is devastated. Flight replaced fight as thousands fled a Germany bent on their destruction. Weimar in Exile is an encyclopaedic study of intellectuals driven into exile from Nazi Germany.

Home Truths

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Review of 'Heimat 3', director Edgar Reitz

When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, hopes were high. On 10 November 1989 politician Walter Momper said, 'We Germans are the happiest people in the world.' This line is the title of the first episode of German director Edgar Reitz's impressive € 12 million Heimat 3, the third instalment of a 54 hour long TV and cinema epic following the fortunes of a family, a village and a country.

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