The family history of four generations of Freyers unfolds within it the fate of twentieth century European Jewry. It is the story of a thriving Jewish community that regarded Germany as the beloved Fatherland, the Fatherland that failed. Grandfather Moritz Freyer, an assimilated Jew, was a respected physician in Stettin (now Szczecin) at the beginning of the century. His son Erich, who married a German wife, owned the Hoffmann publishing house in Blumenstrasse 22 in Berlin, which specialized in humanist and socialist literature. One day in 1933, Nazi thugs stormed into the offices, flung the books into the street and set them on fire, destroying Erich`s life. While he managed to get out of the country, he had to leave his wife and daughter, who remained in Germany. In the course of time, his daughter Yvonne, staunch in her faith in Communism, became editor of the women`s magazines Fr Dich and Sybille in East Germany. Erich joined his brother Kurt in Amsterdam. Kurt, a Marxist art scholar, fought for Germany in World War I and later marched with Rosa Luxemburg in the streets of Berlin. When the Nazis came to power he left with his wife, daughters, and brother, and eventually emigrated to Eretz Israel, where he co-founded Kibbutz Kfar Sold, and became an author of books on art and Marxism. Trude, Erich`s and Kurt`s sister, remained in Stettin and perished with her husband in the Holocaust. Gidi, Kurt`s grandson, who wrote poems, fell in the Yom Kippur War.
Ruvik Rosental, Kurt`s grandson and Gidi`s brother, has written an absorbing, exciting, and thoroughly plausible book that imaginatively combines real people and historical events. His heroes are idealists, who brought with them to Israel the German culture and humanist values on which they were raised.
Partial German translation available (for publishers only)