Books: To Begin Again

TIDINGS (302 pp.)—Ernst Wiechert—Macmillan ($4.50).

The late Ernst Emil Wiechert (1887-1950) was one of the last of a vanished breed of German writers—romantic in feeling, mystical in outlook, spendthrift in prose (in his 63 years he wrote 60 books, none of them very well known in the U.S.). When Hitler came to power, Wiechert backed one of the dictator's most detested internal enemies, Lutheran Pastor Martin Niemoller, and paid for it with five months in Buchenwald concentration camp followed by years of enforced silence. Tidings, Wiechert's posthumous novel (first published in Germany in 1953) is the fruit of his musings during those...