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A Thousand Mosquito Bites

Thomas Powers: Jews in Wartime Dresden

21 September 2000
I Shall Bear Witness: The Diaries of Victor Klemperer, 1933-41 
edited by Martin Chalmers.
Phoenix, 656 pp., £11.99, May 1999, 0 7538 0684 3
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To the Bitter End: The Diaries of Victor Klemperer, 1942-45 
edited by Martin Chalmers.
Phoenix, 704 pp., £8.99, August 2000, 0 7538 1069 7
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... burden of their complicity and silence. Klemperer’s thousand pages, as translated and edited by Martin Chalmers, are never boring, for all their repetitions, but they are not read quickly or easily. I couldn’t manage more than about thirty pages a day. But those pages bring to life what happened as no list of horrors could even begin to do. ‘The ...

In the Opposite Direction

David Blackbourn: Enzensberger

25 March 2010
The Silences of Hammerstein 
by Hans Magnus Enzensberger, translated by Martin Chalmers.
Seagull, 465 pp., £20, 1 906497 22 2
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... with his interlocutor’s recording machine. Here the ‘posthumous conversations’, as Martin Chalmers has it, raise other questions. In one Hammerstein says: ‘If it had been up to me, I would already have fired on the Nazis in August 1932.’ What he actually said was: ‘If the National Socialists come to power legally, that is acceptable ...

Up from the Cellar

Nicholas Spice: The Interment of Elisabeth Fritzl

5 June 2008
by Elfriede Jelinek, translated by Martin Chalmers.
Serpent’s Tail, 340 pp., £7.99, July 2008, 978 1 84668 666 5
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... On 1 May, only five days after news broke that a 73-year-old man, Josef Fritzl, had immured one of his seven children, his 18-year-old daughter Elisabeth, in a specially fortified cellar under his house in the small town of Amstetten in Lower Austria, and kept her there for 24 years, abusing her persistently and fathering seven more children on her, Elfriede Jelinek, Austria’s Nobel Prize winning novelist, posted a short essay on her website under the title ‘Im Verlassenen ...
20 August 1998
Free Trade and Liberal England, 1846-1946 
by Anthony Howe.
Oxford, 336 pp., £45, December 1997, 9780198201465
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The Origins of War Prevention: The British Peace Movement and International Relations, 1730-1854 
by Martin Ceadel.
Oxford, 587 pp., £55, December 1996, 0 19 822674 8
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... in English history. Both are highly informative, sophisticated, closely and subtly argued. Martin Ceadel’s begins in 1730 but is really about the first half of the 19th century, while Anthony Howe’s is really about the second half of that century although it continues until 1946. Ceadel’s is largely pioneering in its subject-matter, while Howe ...

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