Germany: a Self-Portrait: A Collection of German Writings from 1914 to 1943

By Harlan R. Crippen | Go to book overview

ministration of the island put the family in a camp used for prisoners in transit to and from Devil's Island. After a month's imprisonment they were permitted to go on to Mexico, where Dr. Radvanyi now directs the Mexican Institute of Public Opinion. Anna Seghers was one of the founders of a flourishing anti-Nazi German publishing house in Mexico City. In June 1943 she was beaten by Nazi sympathizers and left unconscious on a dark and lonely street. She was brought to a hospital in time to save her life and has now recovered.


SHELTER

by ANNA SEGHERS

IT WAS A MORNING in September 1940. On La Place de la Concorde in Paris the largest swastika flag in any of the German-occupied countries flapped in the wind. The lines on the sidewalks before the shops extended as far as the eye could see. A woman named Louise Meunier, a machinist's wife and mother of three children, had just learned that there were eggs for sale in a store in the Fourteenth District. She quickly got ready, stayed in line an hour, and received five eggs, one for each member of her family. Then she suddenly realized that a school chum, Annette Villard, worked as a chambermaid in a hotel on the same street. She visited Annette and found that usually calm and orderly person in a strangely excited state.

Annette was washing windows and wash basins. Louise lent a helping hand and listened as her friend told how yesterday at noon the Gestapo had arrested a guest who had registered at the hotel as an Alsatian but who, it later turned out, had escaped from a German concentration camp several years before. The guest (Annette continued to scour the window pane as she talked) had been taken to Santé Prison. From there he would be shipped to Germany and probably put up against a wall and shot. But after all, war was war, wasn't it? Something else concerned her much more deeply: the guest's son. The German had a child, a twelve-year-old boy who shared the room with him. The lad attended school and spoke French like a native. His mother was dead. There was something

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Germany: a Self-Portrait: A Collection of German Writings from 1914 to 1943
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction xiii
  • Book One - Iron Cross 1
  • Order of the Crown, Fourth Class 26
  • Into the Abyss 43
  • Verdun 57
  • The Judgment 73
  • On Leave 79
  • Letters from Prison 83
  • Homecoming 104
  • Book Two - Reluctant Republic 111
  • The Ninth of November 115
  • 'Groener Speaking . . .' 121
  • The Spartacus Manifesto 126
  • Our New Masters 133
  • The Constitution of the German Reich Of 11 August 1919 142
  • Look Through the Bars 157
  • Black Armies 169
  • Fever Dance 185
  • Adventure in a Beer Hall 201
  • The Way of the New Germany 217
  • A Laborer in Leuna 229
  • Lampion's Reply 237
  • A Fairy Tale for Christmas 244
  • The Program of the National Socialist German Workers' Party 257
  • My Personal and Financial Relations With the Nazi Party 261
  • The Landslide 270
  • These Literary Anti-Semites 289
  • Invaders and Exiles 302
  • Book Three - Crooked Cross 311
  • Fire in Leipzig 315
  • 'Peaceful Night, Holy Night . . .' 331
  • Family Portrait 342
  • The Age of the Fish 352
  • An Exchange of Letters 370
  • Who Shall Tell Us Today 377
  • Hans Zauner Becomes a Soldier 382
  • Fritz Giga 406
  • Shelter 423
  • The Ballad of the German Soldier's Bride 432
  • Letter from Moscow 433
  • Self-Bondage 452
  • The Blossoming to Come 457
  • Acknowledgments 459
  • Bibliography 465
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