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Little People Made Big

Neal Ascherson: In Love with the Cause

9 January 2014
Red Love: The Story of an East German Family 
by Maxim Leo, translated by Shaun Whiteside.
Pushkin, 264 pp., £16.99, September 2013, 978 1 908968 51 7
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The Jew Car 
by Franz Fühmann, translated by Isabel Fargo Cole.
Seagull, 257 pp., £13.50, June 2013, 978 0 85742 086 2
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... books make clear why that wasn’t so, and how different the two regimes were. But Werner was talking about one of the similarities clearly apparent to somebody like him – and also to the young FranzFühmann, growing up in the German part of the Sudetenland in the 1930s. This was the Magnificat effect, the spectacle, real or faked, of the putting down of the mighty from their seat and the ...


Edward Timms

19 April 1990
Thomas Mann and his Family 
by Marcel Reich-Ranicki, translated by Ralph Manheim.
Collins, 230 pp., £20, August 1989, 9780002158374
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... assumptions. His judgments may be misleading on points of detail, but the book invigorated German critical debate. East German writers like Arnold Zweig and Anna Seghers, Stephan Hermlin and FranzFühmann began to be treated seriously, and the literature of the German Democratic Republic was increasingly recognised as a challenging alternative to the traditions of the West. An even more sensitive ...

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