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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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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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... A novel from East Germany, whatever else it may be, is necessarily read as a report: and for the great majority of Westerners, a report on a virtually unknown world. Judged by internal evidence, StefanHeym’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 ...


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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... and in ten minutes the tree is gone. In case you were wondering, the twin town is not Munich or Stuttgart, but Marl, a rather depressed place in the northern Ruhr valley. When the East German writer StefanHeym 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 ...


Peter Pulzer: In East Berlin

19 April 1990
... as a polis or mountain canton of 16 million people. Within five months the great dissidents, those who kept the flame alight while others were indifferent – the painter Bärbel Bohley, the writer StefanHeym, 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 ...

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