just published in Swedish: Horst Krüger’s THE BROKEN HOUSE

Weyler Förlag in Sweden just published Horst Krüger’s THE BROKEN HOUSE in translation by Anne-Marie Odstedt!

THE BROKEN HOUSE is a major rediscovery: one young man’s record of Berlin in Nazi Germany, and a sharp-eyed analysis of the lower middle classes, who were so ensnared by their ideology. Horst Krüger, who characterises himself as »the typical child of those innocuous Germans who were never Nazis, and without whom the Nazis would never have been able to do their work,« assesses the situation, determined to learn »what it was like back then under Hitler.« The Germany in this book is not the Germany of giant torch-lit processions and endless ranks of jackbooted marchers. It is the Germany of the small Berlin suburb of Eichkamp, where the author’s parents lived their proper, non-political lives, believed in God and Law, respected »good Jews«, and were the very embodiment of level-headed, industrious Germany. The step-by-step account of how they were seduced by the vision of Hitler as their saviour and intoxicated by the promises of Nazism forms a drama all the more chilling for its lack of violence, and all the more damning for its lack of any conscious evil.

  • Rights sold to UK (English World) – Vintage/The Bodley Head, France – Actes Sud, Spain (Castilian World) – Siruela, Greece – Dardanos Russia – Eksmo, Italy – under negotiation, Sweden – Weyler Förlag
  • Previous editions (rights reverted): US (»A Crack in the Wall«) – Fromm Intl. (1985) Denmark (Jespersen og Pio, 1968) The Netherlands – Kok (1985) Poland (Czytelnik, 1974) Sweden – Raben & Sjögren (1967)
  • Complete English translation available

»I often think that the key to a successful memoir is to find the right place to stand, the effective distance. Writing in the sixties, Kruger had enough clarity to see where his story fitted into the big picture, but he can still make the reader feel the passion, danger and grief. It is an unsparing, honest and insightful memoir, that shows how private failure becomes national disaster. There is no mercy from the author and no false hope, but he fills a gap in the historical imagination.« – Hilary Mantel

»Extraordinary… compelling« Mail on Sunday

»Exquisitely written… haunting… Few books, I think, capture so well the sense of a life broken forever by trauma and guilt« Sunday Times

»The book that broke the silence… the writing glowers from the page – sorrowful, disbelieving, chastened and yet not without hope« Observer

»A book of hard-won simplicity and quite beautiful precision« The Times

»It is precisely the ordinariness of Krüger’s life that makes this not just a book about Nazism and Germany but also a book for our own times… In an age when democracy is under threat everywhere…it’s salutary to learn how one family, one indvidual among many, could stand by while evil triumphed… Krüger’s limpid, almost poetic prose, well translated by Shaun Whiteside, conjures vivd, concrete images of the dullness of life in Eichkamp — Richard J Evans.« Guardian

»Germany’s past cannot be overcome. At most it can be made present. This is precisely what Krüger has done.«
Marcel Reich-Ranicki

»This book offers no revelations; it’s not competing with the plain factual reports; it’s truth battling untruth, it’s a rumination, a difficult calculation that never adds up, an attempt to comprehend.«
Wolfgang Koeppen

»Horst Krüger, one of the formative voices of the German Federal Republic, remembers his childhood in Berlin, his resistance in the Nazi era, imprisonment by the Gestapo, and the unconcerned lifestyle during the economic boom of the 1950s and 60s.«

»The touching testimony of a young oppositionist.«
Adam Soboczynski, Die ZEIT

»Krüger made it his lifelong task to fight against the return of right-wing extremism.«
Claus-Jürgen Göpfert, Frankfurter Rundschau

»Finally in a new edition!«
Hannes Schwenger, Der Tagesspiegel

»An unflinching analysis of the German petty bourgeoisie during National Socialism.«
Manfred Papst, NZZ am Sonntag