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5.0 von 5 Sternen A simple, powerful and disturbing account of Nazi Germany
What did it mean to be Jewish in the late 1930's in Nazi Germany? How powerful was Hitler's fascist brainwashing of the German race? How quickly did he influence the German people ?
In an instant this book answers these questions and a great deal more regarding the Jews and Nazi Germany. It is a concise and compelling compilation of letters between a Jew in the...
Veröffentlicht am 19. Februar 2000 von A. Peel

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2.0 von 5 Sternen Somewhat disappointing after all the hype
This book is something of a publishing sensation in France, where I read it. Perhaps I expected too much, but I am a little disappointed. This is a short story imagined by an American woman writer living in California in 1938. One can certainly excuse her for not being completely accurate about Germany, writing in San Francisco in the Thirties: for the period, she...
Veröffentlicht am 27. Juli 2000 von Anne-Elisabeth Moutet


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2.0 von 5 Sternen Somewhat disappointing after all the hype, 27. Juli 2000
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Anne-Elisabeth Moutet (Paris, France) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: Address Unknown (Gebundene Ausgabe)
This book is something of a publishing sensation in France, where I read it. Perhaps I expected too much, but I am a little disappointed. This is a short story imagined by an American woman writer living in California in 1938. One can certainly excuse her for not being completely accurate about Germany, writing in San Francisco in the Thirties: for the period, she makes her point beautifully and tersely. But now, 60 years later, I am amazed that so many people take this book as literal truth. Nazism was no nicer than what is shown here, but I don't think it expressed itself exactly in the way it is written here. (To get a much more accurate feel, I recommend the haunting "Reunion" by Fred Uhlman, or "Wartime Lies" by Louis Begley, two Jewish writers who were there.) Almost at every page, I was jarred by small inaccuracies: using images of Berlin in writing to a man settling in Bavaria, for instance; the theatrical way in which Max's sister escapes to Martin's newly-bought Schloss, which as straight out of Boy's Own adventures; the unselfconscious, didactic way in which Martin's letters show him won over to Nazism (read by contrast Albert Speer's "Inside the Third Reich" to understand how a brilliant intellectual can be seduced by Hitler). Martin's letter explaining how he abandoned Max's sister stretches credulity -- no-one remotely intelligent would have confessed to such behaviour, even to a former friend he was trying to persuade to stop writing. Max's revenge is nicely plotted: it's a clever idea, and intellectually I can see how it would work, for instance in a stage play; but I don't really believe it would have worked out that way (it could be argued convincingly that it was a Jewish plot.) My problem is that at no time do I really believe in the characters. (Max is not a convincing art dealer; the passages in his and Martin's letters about the sales he makes don't sound true; Martin refers to Max's judaism with admiration in his first letter, so that his later about-turn is unbelievable: a man that cultured ought to be a lot more ideological when he recants; Martin has lived abroad; he can't have the reactions of an unsophisticated German burgher.) As a period short story, this is a nice if slight, work. But it would be a mistake to see it as historic evidence of how Jews and Germans fared in the Thirties. It's well-meaning but inaccurate.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A simple, powerful and disturbing account of Nazi Germany, 19. Februar 2000
Von 
A. Peel (UK) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Address Unknown (Gebundene Ausgabe)
What did it mean to be Jewish in the late 1930's in Nazi Germany? How powerful was Hitler's fascist brainwashing of the German race? How quickly did he influence the German people ?
In an instant this book answers these questions and a great deal more regarding the Jews and Nazi Germany. It is a concise and compelling compilation of letters between a Jew in the States and a German returned from the States to live in Germany.
Martin, the German, after voicing initial hesitation, succumbs to the temptation of following Hitler and rejecting his Jewish friend and business partner in the process.
What is particularly disturbing is that it is clear from the outset that he is an intelligent, open-minded and well-educated individual. If even he is totally taken in by Hitler and his regime, what chance did those of a lesser education and a lesser quality of life have in the face of Hitler and his positive promises for the future ? They would have been swept along by his current of hope in an instant, even if that hope involved the elimination of minorities in the process.
Only much later could the majority of Germans step back and realise the true implications of the Hitler regime. 'Address Unknown' captures this and much more in an exchange of but a few letters. The simplicitiy of the work emphasises the horrors of Hitler.
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1.0 von 5 Sternen A simple book for simple minds, 10. Oktober 2010
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Thomas Dunskus (Faleyras, France) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: Address Unknown (Roman) (Taschenbuch)
This review is based on the French edition, "Inconnu à cette adresse"

The book tells a simple story with the characters conveniently painted in black and white - black for the Germans and white for the others. Dramatis personae are the American art dealer Max Eisenstein, intelligent, erudite and generous, his sister Griselle who is working in Germany as a theatre actress, gifted, courageous and passionate, we have Max' German associate Martin Schulse (as typical a German name as Smiss would be for an Englishman), not very bright, a coward of sorts, and an adulterer, and finally Martin's wife Elsa (no description needed, I suppose).

As soon as Hitler is nominated chancellor in January of 1933, Martin returns to the Old Country, is immediately made top manager of a German bank and moves into a castle near Munich; his wife is thrilled by being again a mere Hausfrau and having more babies.

Then things really get going. As early as mid-1933, Max hears of anti-Jewish pogroms in Germany, Schulse implores him, using a letterhead of the bank, to stop writing to his home address and hide any news on the back of promissory notes (which, seemingly, nobody at the bank looks at). Max reacts by becoming racist, saying that his sister, who uses a pseudonym because Eisenstein in Germany would be impossible, can easily be spotted as a Jewess by her looks, her gestures and her passionate nature. He informs Martin that he can no longer keep him as an associate, because his American clients would not buy anything from an art dealer named Schulse (Eisenstein does not seem to be perceived in the same way).

Meanwhile it is the fall of 1933 and Griselle has declared, while appearing on stage, that she is Jewish and proud of it, whereupon the public turns on her and chases her from the theatre. She must hide in a basement, together with another Jewish family and decides to return to the more liberal city of Vienna, not by train - that would be far too dangerous - but on foot so that nobody can spot her. It is only a 600-mile hike as she cannot dare cross the border with Czechoslovakia and use the direct route, but then anyone with a little training can do that in a month. For some strange reason, she does not consider getting in touch with the American Consulate, well, maybe she has mislaid her American passport.

On the way to Vienna she calls on Martin (her former lover) in Munich, with the SA beasts hard on her heels, he locks his door on her and the Nazis do her in, leaving the corpse on Martin's doorstep. Martin has a hole dug for her body and tells Max that, well, unfortunately, she died. End of the first part, Griselle's death.

Max' revenge follows immediately: he fakes a correspondence with his former associate which so compromises Martin with the Gestapo that he is arrested and disappears - address unknown; it was as simple as that, in those days. What we are not told in the closing pages of the book is the fate of Elsa and her children. We can only surmise that they, too, shared Martin's fate, as otherwise Max' letters would have been delivered. Max could be satisfied, his revenge had reached biblical dimensions, the innocent suffered the same fate as the guilty, God would recognize his own. One wonders if the book is not, in the end, an anti-Jewish pamphlet besides being political kitsch.

As I was looking at the reviews by other readers, I was struck by the fact that many underlined the realism of the book, using phrases like "a simple, powerful and disturbing account of Nazi Germany" "the chain of letters are shocking in their realism", "the book really shows how Hitler managed to win over the minds of the German people", "in an instant this book answers these questions and a great deal more regarding the Jews and Nazi Germany". Most of the reviewers are British, now probably somewhere between 20 and 70 years old and it is likely that quite a few of them have never even set foot on German soil. Hence, they have no way of knowing - other than by hearsay - what the situation in Germany in the early 1930s was really like and yet they consider the book a realistic representation of that time and place.

Regardless of whether the situation in Germany at the time (1933) was or was not like that, such statements are logically untenable. These views show to what extent "the devastating effects of propaganda and misinformation" have been shaping our conception of History, with the result that even a book like this is considered to be a reflection of real life simply because it is in tune with similar books or films and merely confirms the readers' expectations - quite apart from the fact that the mind of the author of the book was probably shaped, in 1938, not by first-hand knowledge of the subject, but by reports from others.

As far as the book itself and is author are concerned, it is also a little strange to note that in the various editions of the book the author is sometimes a woman, Kathryn Kressmann Taylor, sometimes, possibly, a man, Kressmann Taylor. One also wonders how a story which allegedly appeared in print in 1938 can get a copyright in 1995, almost 60 years later.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Lesenswert, 6. Oktober 2003
Von Ein Kunde
Eine ganz kurze Geschichte, die sich innerhalb einer halben Stunde lesen läßt - die es aber in sich hat: der fiktive Briefwechsel zwischen einem amerikanischen Juden und seinem zunehmend fanatisierten deutschen Geschäftspartner in der NS-Zeit; mit einem überraschenden Ende.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Address unknown, 28. Februar 2012
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: Address Unknown (Roman) (Taschenbuch)
Address Unknown.
Ein Stück Geschichte mal ganz anders. Bei mir zum Schluß ein Lächeln, dass länger bleibt als erwartet und erhofft.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen :D Super für den Englischunterricht., 22. Mai 2014
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: Address Unknown (Roman) (Taschenbuch)
Tolles buch, kann ich nur empfehlen... Würde es als Lektüre ab der 10 Klasse vorschlagen ... Sehr intensiv und wirklich spannend.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen absolut hervorragend, 11. November 2014
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: Address Unknown (Kindle Edition)
Dieses Buch gehört mit zu den besten, die ich je gelesen habe. Ich kann es nur empfehlen und als "must have" betiteln.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Adressat unbekannt - eine Rezension, 12. Mai 2003
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Address Unknown (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Dieses Buch steckt voller tieferer Hintergründe und ist, obwohl recht kurz, äßerst empfehlenswert.
Jeder stellt sich in seinem Leben einmal die Frage, wie sich der Nationalsozialismus in Deutschland durchsetzen konnte. Die Antwort steht sozusagen in diesem Buch, wo eine dramatische Wendung einer Freundschaft im Schatten der NSDAP Regierung dokumentiert wurde.
Das Werk ist absolut zeitlos und ist hinsichtlich der aktuellen politischen Lage und auch betreffend der leider wieder populärer werdenden Neonazibewegung in Deutschland recht aufrüttelnd.
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0 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen the horrors of the Hitler reign in a few letters, 9. Juni 1999
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Address Unknown (Gebundene Ausgabe)
I was so impressed with this book. It's only a few pages, letters between two partners, one a Jew in America and one who becomes a Nazi in Germany. The "addressee unknown" stamp says it all, just like "night and fog"; the disappearance of people into a void. It evokes a chilling horror, but what was even better was the revenge story, in which the Jewish man proved just how wrong his partner was about the "Semitic race." This book can be read in an hour or less, but you'll think about it a lot longer. Brilliant.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Please , don't lose it!, 18. März 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Address Unknown (Gebundene Ausgabe)
I discovered this book in France and I read the french version.I satayed one week completly disturbed by the book.First I started to read and I couldn't stop until the end.The story is so simple,so emovement, so tragic and it is so well written!I tried to convince a portuguese editor to translate it and to publish a portuguese version.Unfournatelly until now he did not. If you have a chance, please don't lose it, read it!
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Address Unknown
Address Unknown von Kressman Taylor (Gebundene Ausgabe - 31. März 2002)
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