Somewhere in Germany

Stefanie Zweig, Author, Marlies Comjean, Translator , trans. from the German by Marlies Comjean. Univ. of Wisconsin/Terrace $24.95 (261p) ISBN 978-0-299-21010-6

Published in Germany in 1996, this autobiographical sequel to Zweig's noteworthy Nowhere in Africa follows the Redlichs as they return to Germany in 1947 after 10 years in exile from National Socialism on a Kenyan farm. Walter is so desperate to practice law again that he uproots his complaining wife, Jettel, his clever, nurturing daughter, Regina, and baby Max to Frankfurt, where gentiles either make snide anti-Semitic comments or claim that they saved Jews and used to have many Jewish friends. Zweig has a deft hand with telling anecdotes. A gas company employee and his wife are evicted when they lack the necessary clout to defend themselves against political charges. In the deprivations of postwar Frankfurt, steel helmets become saucepans and a care package containing American foodstuffs elicits joyful tears. Also vividly described are bighearted Walter's staunch belief in the existence of "the decent German" and budding journalist Regina's meeting with Otto Frank, who tells her how much she reminds him of his daughter, Anne. Although its setting isn't the exotic Kenya of the original novel and Comjean's translation is stiff and prolix, this is a worthy meditation on homelessness, exile and belonging. (Sept. 1)

Reviewed on: 07/17/2006
Release date: 07/01/2006
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-299-21013-7
Show other formats
Discover what to read next