English sample translation by Shaun Whiteside available
Recommended for translation by New Books in German
The unforgettable story of a Jewish family from Berlin that fled from the Nazis, and whose children and grandchildren find their way back to the home of their ancestors
In his first bestselling autobiographical book Haltet euer Herz bereit (“Red Love. The Story of an East German Family”) for which he won the European Book Prize, Maxim Leo told the story of his family under communism. In this new book he turns to his extended family, all the Leos that left Berlin because of the Nazis and have since been scattered around the globe. It’s these relatives that he sets out to find, speaking with their children and grandchildren, finding old letters and photographs and telling their stories.
Irmgard and Hans lived in Israel, two law students from Berlin who emigrated to the Promised Land in 1934 and raised their children in a kibbutz not far from the Golan Heights. In England he meets the family of Hilde, who worked as an actress in small theaters on Friedrichstraße and, at a young age, married Fritz Fränkel, founder of the Communist Party of Germany and a friend of Walter Benjamin, with whom she emigrated to France. Later, Hilde and her son fled to London, where she managed to become a millionaire. Leo’s aunt Susi lives in France; her mother Ilse met the love of her life in the Gurs internment camp and lived underground until the end of the war.
But Maxim Leo doesn’t just turn to the past in tracing his family’s fate; his cousins are gradually finding their way back to Germany, their ancestors’ homeland – they want to study, live and marry in Berlin. A book brimming with stories and history that reads like a novel: exciting, vivid and deeply moving.
release: 14. February 2019
368 pages, gebunden mit SU
- 22,00 €
- 0,00 sFr
- 22,70 €
France: Actes Sud
About the Author
Maxim Leo, born in East Berlin in 1970, is a journalist and author. He writes columns for the Berliner Zeitung and screenplays for the TV crime series “Tatort.” In 2006, he won the Theodor Wolff Prize. In 2011, he received the European Book Prize for his autobiographical book Haltet euer Herz bereit (“Red Love. The Story of an East German Family”). His crime novel Waidmannstod (“Death of a Huntsman”) came out in 2014, followed by Auentod (“Death on the Meadow”) in 2015. Maxim Leo lives in Berlin with his wife and two children.