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Gertrude

Graham Hough, 18 September 1980

Nuns and Soldiers 
by Iris Murdoch.
Chatto, 505 pp., £6.50, September 1980, 0 7011 2519 5
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Collin 
by Stefan Heym.
Hodder, 315 pp., £7.95, August 1980, 0 340 25721 0
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An Inch of Fortune 
by Simon Raven.
Blond and Briggs, 176 pp., £5.95, June 1980, 0 85634 108 8
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Virgin Kisses 
by Gloria Nagy.
Penguin, 221 pp., £1.25, July 1980, 0 14 005506 1
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... great majority of Westerners, a report on a virtually unknown world. Judged by internal evidence, Stefan Heym’s Collin makes a strong impression of authenticity. It has been hailed in West Germany as the best available picture of the DDR and its history. Yet Heym continues to live in East Berlin. His earlier works ...

Hangover

Peter Pulzer, 9 January 1992

The Singing Revolution: A Political Journey through the Baltic States 
by Clare Thomson.
Joseph, 273 pp., £14.99, October 1991, 0 7181 3459 1
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Berlin Journal 1989-90 
by Robert Darnton.
Norton, 352 pp., £15.95, October 1991, 0 393 02970 0
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AnEstonian Childhood: A Memoir 
by Tania Alexander.
Heinemann, 168 pp., £6.95, October 1991, 0 434 01824 4
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... but Marl, a rather depressed place in the northern Ruhr valley. When the East German writer Stefan Heym said that the German Democratic Republic would become a mere footnote in history, many thought he was exaggerating. True, the backwardness and the spoliation of town and countryside remain. So do at least some of the mentalities, including ‘an ...

Diary

Peter Pulzer: In East Berlin, 19 April 1990

... who kept the flame alight while others were indifferent – the painter Bärbel Bohley, the writer Stefan Heym, the conductor Kurt Masur – were brushed aside. The New Forum, the one major legitimate political organisation in the GDR in October, got a miserable 3 per cent in the election. Its leaders felt bitter and betrayed, they saw the election ...

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