Literature

Mendelssohn is on the Roof

By Jiří Weil

First-class e-book in regards to the Nazi-occupation of Prague. Even after examining loads of literature of the camps and in regards to the destiny of these in Nazi-occupied Europe, there have been passages during this book--particularly the end--that made very tricky reading.

It is tough for me to place my finger on Weil's skill to nonetheless make his topic so emotionally robust. with no rereading any of his books, i might say that--in this book--by juxtaposing the comedian, bumbling activities of Czech collaborators and Nazis with the plight of the Jewish inhabitants made the latter all of the extra gripping.

thorough, revealing description from amazon reviewer:

The novel starts off in Nazi-occupied Prague, quickly after the invasion of Russia. There are the 9 months while "the Butcher of Prague", Reinhardt Heydrich, as Deputy Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, governed with bare terror. He observed Bohemia as an old German land, had utter contempt for the Czechs and used to be one of many major architects of the "Final Solution": the Jews have been already herded into ghettoes; Theresienstadt had already been changed into a conserving quarter from which many Jews have been despatched to the gasoline chambers of Auschwitz. Weil has Heydrich remorse that during his current place he may purely manage the liquidation of the Jews rather than having the ability, as earlier than, to take part individually within the violence. After Heydrich used to be assassinated, the phobia intensified even more.

The ebook portrays the brutality and paperwork of the regime; the infighting in the assorted Nazi gurus; how the Nazis terrify one another nearly up to they terrify the folk of Prague, as whilst an order given via Heydrich couldn't be instantly performed. the sort of orders have been to take away the statue of Mendelssohn from the roof of the Prague Academy of tune while none of his underlings knew which of the numerous statues was once that of Mendelssohn. Such events are farcical; yet we're left in doubtless that there has been by no means something humorous within the end result, as we persist with the precarious lives of numerous Jews and Czechs. Many have perforce to collaborate with the Germans or even take a few satisfaction in it; others reproach themselves bitterly; a number of courageously have interaction in resistance. because the e-book progresses, it turns into darker and darker because the farcical components are left at the back of. We flow to Theresienstadt, the place the Germans pressured Jews to pick different Jews to do bad issues to but different Jews. And the soreness, there and in Prague, maintains correct as much as the time, within the final pages, whilst the Soviets force the Germans out of Czechoslovakia. a few of the Nazis' sufferers had long gone to their deaths bravely, understanding that, although they wouldn't reside to determine it, the Germans may without doubt be defeated.

Weil wrote not just as a Jew, but additionally as a lover of Czechoslovakia.

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