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Berlin, Spring of 1995. While a group of neo-Nazis are preparing an anniversary bash of disastrous proportions, an old physics professor returns to Potsdam to atone for his sins, an Italian postdoc designs an experiment that will determine the fate of the universe, and, in a room at Le Charit?, a Holocaust survivor tells his tale to the willing ear of a young psychologist. Who is that talking cat, why do ghosts of SS soldiers roam the city, and what is Speer's favorite actress up to?
vain; if only it could just ignore all those novels set in Caligula’s Rome; if only it didn’t get upset about novellas set in the animal kingdom; if only it didn’t take all those ridiculously overlong poems about the joys of botany personally—then each of those works would be of no consequence. Now the regime’s paranoia sees a heartless assault on the core values of socialism in almost every piece of writing, and somewhere in the hierarchy somebody is bound to be readying the whip. It’s a
town is rich and has developed quite a taste for sin. The townspeople built themselves an achingly beautiful synagogue with a nicely sculpted Ark. Inside that Ark an antique Torah is kept. Nobody knows exactly how old it is. Old, ja? Very old. How old? From Moshe’s time, ja? And although the sinfulness of the town is kept indoors and out of sight, the Lord G*d looks deep inside a man’s heart, and when the Torah is passed around during the Shabbat service, the letters tremble for fear of brushing
beauty of a murdered innocence over the living variety. They stare at you when they think you’re not paying attention; the goal is to study you in that rare moment when you’re completely yourself, when you think no one is watching you. You’ll never catch them red-handed, but you can see their pupils darting away when you look up from your coffee; you can see their shifting gaze in the park; you can hear them step away from underneath your bedroom window. All artists are in love with
my brand new bright white shirt gets covered in brand new bright red stains. The missiles lash my ears, they splash with tiny wet sounds on the lapels of the black jacket my mother bought just yesterday at Hermann Thiel’s. For a moment, they cling to the fabric, then they slide downwards—my formal clothes are dripping in dark saturated red. The missiles are cherry stones, hastily chewed in my classmates’ oily spit, then quickly loaded into the leather triangles of their slingshots. This then is
to meet Ernst vom Rath, a low-ranking diplomat. Grynszpan assumes that the man standing in front of him is Welczeck and he shoots the hapless civil servant in the guts. The man is carried to the hospital. For two days, vom Rath is stuck between life and death. The newspaper headlines go into overdrive. Every hour, the radio transmits a news bulletin with the latest reports from the two doctors that minister to vom Rath. Hitler had them flown in from Berlin—one of his own personal physicians is