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March 26, 2009



It was a real dilemma for dedicated leftists. Most people just wanted the best material circumstances they could get, and that would have been in the West. The intellectuals were pets of the regime, of course. It's all very sad.
I don't think I could read the Seghers without becoming very upset for everyone.


Interesting review, David. I've always enjoyed Seghers' earlier writing, and I can even stomach the later short stories. Have you read "Der Ausflug der toten Mädchen"? That's a very moving look at the fates of her old classmates, Jews and "Aryans" alike.

You might enjoy Werner Bräunig's "Rummelplatz", another long one. It was banned in the GDR for being too unflattering of the working class.


Katy, thanks for the tip on Rummelplatz.

Yes, Ausflug is superb. I also like Segher's stories about Mexico...


Or perhaps "Transit" might even be available in English at some point. New Books in German recommends the book as its latest "forgotten gem":


I had assumed Transit had been translated, given the enormous popularity of The Seventh Cross and the "Cassablanca"-like atmosphere of the novel.

But I'm all in favor of a Seghers revival. There are many "forgotten gems" in her oeuvre.

Jordan 5

A lot will come out over time but the truth has been out there for a long time as well but that doesn't give you what you want so this dance just goes on and on.

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