Burghart Klaußner

Before the Beginning

Vor dem Anfang

Before the Beginning

English sample translation available

A powerful debut about two German soldiers escapying the downfall of Berlin at the end of WWII

Berlin, April 1945: In the final hours before the Soviet troops are closing in and all hell breaks loose, two German soldiers receive an assignment that takes them straight into the heart of the danger.

Fritz and Schultz both managed to survive the war by keeping their heads down. They are neverthe-less caught unawares on the homestretch, when they are tasked with bringing their unit’s cash box to the Reich Air Ministry to Berlin-Mitte – straight across the ravaged city – with rickety bicycles as their only means of transport. But for Fritz, there’s more than his pure survival that is on stake. He has a plan of his own: to somehow muddle through to Lake Wannsee, where his sailboat from better days lies moored, and to ride out the storm by hiding there.

Vor dem Anfang (“Before the Beginning”) is the story of the involuntary shared destiny of two men who could hardly be more different, yet suddenly find themselves dependent on each other, for better or worse. A gripping debut about the end of the world and the hope of a new beginning, suffused with darkness – but also warmth and subtle humor.



ISBN: 978-3-462-05196-4
release: 07. September 2018
176 pages, gebunden mit SU


18,00 €
0,00 sFr
18,50 €
sample translation

About the Author

Burghart Klaußner graduated from the Max Reinhardt Drama School in Berlin and studied German literature and theater studies. He went on to appear on almost every major German-language stage. He acted in numerous series and films, such as the Oscar®-nominated “The White Ribbon” which received the Palme d’or at the Cannes Film Festival. For his role in “The White Ribbon”, Klaußner received the Best Actor Award from the German Film Critics Association in 2009. He is a member of the Freie Akademie der Künste Hamburg and the German Film Academy, where he has been serving on the Board since 2010. Burghart Klaußner also works as a writer and director.
He lives with his family in Hamburg. Vor dem Anfang (“Before the Beginning”) is his first novel. He will be one of the first stipends at the Thomas-Mann-Villa in Los Angeles at the end of the year 2018.