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Günther Birkenfelds cloud – storm and dust : night bombing over Berlin
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wars with a God's court, something has gone out of fashion. Finally, it is not a question of guilt and atonement, when armies were moving against each other to the field, even if the leader called on higher beings. Death can hit everyone, not just sinners. And, unlike religious end-time scenarios, the world is gone in any war. Life went on, as it is always the same in the case of disasters. And always, there were Survivors who could tell of the horrors.

"We have called the apocalyptic rider on the cities of the other, on Warsaw and Rotterdam and Coventry," says this narrator. "Now you come on our with the booming hooves of their horses, with sword and Scythe, scale, and hourglass!" The "thoughts" corporal latching a Top name Hechta in November 1943, in the control room of the Berlin air defense through the head. Experience deep under the earth liked to keep a stash soldiers of the Wehrmacht, the severest of air attacks. In several days of massive attacks by the Western allies to sink large parts of the city centre to rubble, including the Gedächtniskirche, castle Charlottenburg and Museum island.

Stunning summarization

the scene is from The novel "cloud – storm and dust" by Günther Birkenfeld. The book of the year 1955, the forget in the meantime, as the author was, just been on excavations in specialized publishing house, The Cultural memory re-released. Birkenfeld had worked from 1941 on, even in the Berlin air defense command. With the figure of lance corporal Hechta he has set the poet Peter Huchel, who belonged to the same unit, a literary monument. Hechta is recited in a brooder and skeptics, of Verlaine's verses, during the command state of the bomb is shaken no punches: "you come, you are the life, the truth, the / black terrain."

The fifty pages, the action in a breathtaking compression of the bombing raids of November 1943, are at the heart of the novel. Late expressionist metaphors change with factual passages and sarcastic remarks. While a "Mosquito" on Moabit circles, in the Bunker of a Housefly is exactly the point of the degree of network card, on the Hechta the reconnaissance aircraft wants to draw. He narrows his eyes, reminds him the insect, "to a hearse for the third class with fringes". The light from the light ammunition with which scout machines Wadern the bomb to speed the path to Gespenstertag. Between silent, low-hovering "Christmas trees" made of Magnesium "flashing star and glassy red balls". From the edge of anti-aircraft guns to shoot in the "green magic". Houses caught in the explosions to Stagger, people are struck by a "giant fist made of air".

twenty years Ago, W. G. Sebald, had triggered a debate on the relation of the literature on the air war, as he accused it of a "whole Generation of German authors," their inability to "what they had seen, record, and incorporate it in our memory". At the time, the work of Gert was discovered Unmarried, had described in his novel "retribution" of 1956, an attack on an unnamed German city, with the help of the Hamburg fire-tower was meant in sober brutality. But Sebald's agreed to These at all? His critics referred to authors such as Hans Erich Nossack, Ralph Giordano or Uwe Timm, who had addressed the Trauma of the bomb war. However, mostly only as a secondary strand of a broader reminder.

what is it Like living in a dictatorship?

From the debris of literature had most of the Germans back enough, as the economic miracle began. A self-critical dealing with the past, they were not interested. Ledigs book, shake its most sequences of the Lynch murder of an American pilot, and Birkenfelds Berlin-Roman, indicating that the bombing campaign of German airports ran out, were observed in their appearance. "Cloud – storm and dust" is created as an epoch panoramic view from the Olympic year of 1936 to the post-war period.

what's it Like living in a dictatorship? With, enthusiastic, or gritting his teeth? The courage enough to go the distance to provide even resistance? These are the questions, the birch field. He makes many of the characters occur, all find the balance between opportunism and Opposition. An entrepreneur in hiding, Pursued, and earned, but with uniforms, which he makes for the Regime cutters, a fortune. The son of Porter's power in the Gestapo's career, and to investigate the father, who distributed leaflets against Hitler. A Secretary cheats on her fiance with a married man who will later be tortured in the cellars of the Prinz-Albrecht-Palais to death. Innocent, none is, all are enmeshed in the collective crime.

Günther Birkenfeld, Born in 1901, had become in 1929, and his youth novel, "the third farm on the left". The book summarize "the diamond of the poverty in poetic Gold," praised Else Lasker-schüler. In 1933, the novel was banned and publicly burned. But Birkenfelds literary biographies on the Emperor Augustus and Johannes Gutenberg were able to appear in 1934 and 1937. Peter Graf, founded a year ago with three comrades-in-arms the memory-Verlag, added to a birch box of inner Emigration. The writer was friends with a German-Jewish authors, such as Alfred Kantorowicz, he was probably also in contact with the resistance learning of the "Red chapel" of the 20th century. July. The protagonists of the "cloud – storm and dust" is reflected, as Graf explains in the afterword, this constellation.

Birkenfelds and Huchels biographies run long in parallel

"O night of sorrow, night of April, / I in the fire haze by sponge." The rows in which Peter Huchel a recapitulation of his personal end of the war, in April 1945, in a beautiful, recently-come-out image - and-Text-monograph on the Poet. He was last stationed as a soldier in the South of Brandenburg, commits acts of sabotage, escapes at the last second, a state court, flees by swimming through a body of water.

Birkenfelds and Huchels biographies run for a long time in parallel. After 1945 their separate ways. Huchel is editor-in-chief of the magazine "sense and Form", receives the national prize of the GDR. Birch box alerts you at a Writers conference in front of the Soviet doctrine of social realism and an anti-founds Communist "combat group against inhumanity".

The popular tale last part of "cloud – storm and dust" plays in the ideologically charged climate of the, in fact, already divided city. Long before the construction of the wall, a deep crack goes through the city. As a friendship it can fail, even for the brilliant novel is a document.

Günther Birkenfeld: cloud – storm and dust. Roman. Edited by Peter Graf. Publisher of Cultural memory, 438 p., 25 €

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Matthias Weichelt: Peter Huchel. Life in pictures. German art publishing house, Berlin and Munich 2018, 96 p., 22 €

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