You're hoping for a better society, you believe in heroes — only to discover it's all a big lie. "The Architects" by Stefan Heym is all about betrayal and illusions.
Stalinism was a verboten subject in the former GDR. The author, an emigree to America, wrote his novel about the lasting consequences of Stalinism in English; it wasn't published in German until 34 years later.
A Jewish scholar crisscrosses Europe as he searches for his forgotten past, with the journey taking him to the edge of his limits. The book is considered one of the most important works of post-WWII literature.
Hope as the elixir of life: Jurek Becker's novel about the life of Jews in a ghetto in Nazi-occupied Poland is gripping and melancholic, but also full of humor. It's a story of the Holocaust, but also much, more more.
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