Books: I Will Bear Witness

Victor Klemperer

This Diary of the Nazi Years, 1933-1941, the first of two recently translated volumes, is richer and more profoundly disturbing than Anne Frank's journals. The author, a Dresden Technical University professor, was a German Jew and rabbi's son who, despite his conversion to Lutheranism and his marriage to a Protestant, learned grievously that he could not escape his origins. Day by desperate day, he records sights and events that embitter his spirit: a child's ball emblazoned with a swastika; the loss of his teaching post. Remarkably, Klemperer escaped being sent to a concentration camp and remained "a German to the bitter...

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