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The cow, the shoe, then you

Philip Oltermann: Hans Fallada

8 March 2012
More Lives than One: A Biography of Hans​ Fallada 
by Jenny Williams.
Penguin, 320 pp., £12.99, February 2012, 978 0 241 95267 2
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A Small Circus 
by Hans Fallada, translated by Michael Hofmann.
Penguin, 577 pp., £20, February 2012, 978 0 14 119655 8
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... On Tuesday, 17 October 1911, 18-year-old Rudolf Ditzen, the future HansFallada, got up before dawn to meet his schoolfriend Hanns Dietrich von Necker at a tourist spot outside Rudolstadt in Thuringia. Some weeks beforehand, they had agreed to take each other’s lives in a ...


Mike Jay: Opium

21 June 2012
Opium: Reality’s Dark Dream 
by Thomas Dormandy.
Yale, 366 pp., £25, March 2012, 978 0 300 17532 5
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... in 1916, was of Harrods for selling gift-wrapped packets of morphine as ‘useful and attractive presents for friends at the front’. But war continued to be a powerful recruiting sergeant: as HansFallada observed of the Second World War, ‘morphine was the only ministering angel who, without ideology or war aims, served mankind impartially in its madness.’ ‘Is it a sin, a crime, a vice ...


James MacGibbon: Fashionable Radicals

22 January 1987
... half-a-crown. They had an unobstrusive religious whiff, more Methodist perhaps than C of E. As a salesman I blessed them. Putnam published many novelists in translation after All Quiet: for example, HansFallada, Sholokhov and Italo Svevo. Of these three, Fallada is forgotten, Sholokhov in disrepute, and Svevo, but only after repeated failures, is established as an author of Penguin Modern Classics ...

Men He Could Trust

Richard J. Evans: Hitler’s Stormtroopers

22 February 2018
Stormtroopers: A New History of Hitler’s Brownshirts 
by Daniel Siemens.
Yale, 459 pp., £25, October 2017, 978 0 300 19681 8
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... alone. These units often took the lead in policing the occupied areas and in the ‘cleansing’ of Jews and Poles from villages and communities behind the front.On the home front, stormtroopers, as HansFallada noted in his novel Alone in Berlin (1946), seemed omnipresent, controlling public space, intimidating German workers when they protested against the conditions they were forced to endure in ...

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