Night of the Broken Glass

Peter Broner, Author Barrytown Limited $19.95 (316p) ISBN 978-0-88268-132-0
This powerful, deeply moving novel contrasts the intertwined destinies of three German men who grapple with the Nazi menace in radically different ways. Raised in the mistaken belief that he is half-Jewish, Paul Silver learns at age 17 that his biological father is a wealthy baron, a ``full-fledged Aryan.'' This discovery enables him to join the Hitler Youth, but he later confronts his moral cowardice and, spurning his inheritance, flees to the U.S. and enlists so that he can return to Germany to fight the Nazis. Johann Stantke, an uneducated, gentle streetcar conductor, declares his solidarity with Hitler's victims by scrawling anti-Nazi slogans in public. Sent to Dachau and Buchenwald, he achieves a faith that enables him to survive. Shoe manufacturer Martin Hammerschmidt attempts to subvert an evil system from within; he runs a ``satellite concentration camp'' in his factory, operated by ex-Buchenwald inmates whom he rescues from certain death. A German-born writer who fought against his native land in WW II and now lives in New York, Broner grips the reader from the first page of this remarkable and triumphant novel. Peopled with memorable men and women, it probes ultimate questions of good and evil without becoming schematic. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-88268-141-2
Paperback - 316 pages - 978-1-886449-43-5
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