To date, Ruth has not gotten it, that she had not interpreted the signs correctly. Since then, she emigrated with her husband Hans to London, he had changed. Ruth Becker comes from an Upper Silesian manufacturing family. “In my family no one ever was with physical work on … We were enlightened to Germany’s Jews formed secular and more Prussian than the Prussians.” Hans Wesemann however, comes from a pastor household. His life “was partly influenced by the honest, practical necessity of physical work and the other by their absolute futility in the face of the coming apocalypse”.
While Ruth’s parents the connection does not like to see, it means a relief from the burden of bourgeois values and privileges that you were alone by the birth given for the young woman. The wedding is celebrating it in a circle of politically engaged Friends (Social Democrats) in Wroclaw.
The short period of the Weimar Republic after the lost First World War is in some ways a heyday.
In the cosmopolitan city of Berlin goes off the post. The intellectual Bohème, are among the Hans and Ruth enjoys the ‘Roaring Twenties’. But the country is seething. The social imbalance, mass unemployment, economic crisis, inflation and a weak government seemingly have you wishing for a ‘strong man’, ‘create the back “order should. Hitler and his Nazi thugs sit down noisily through.
Hans Wesemann works as a recognized journalist with the “world on Monday.” His satirical columns, initially full of humor, be aggressive with Hitler’s rise and biting.
After 1928 during a Hitler speech at the Sports Palace, the microphone had failed etched Hans: “Since the famous howler technique of the Great Adolf was born.” Especially like it takes the “unmistakably Semitic-looking” Propaganda Minister Goebbels targeted. The strikes in the party newspaper “Attack” back drastically that “this noble spring Held the province with the excrement of his diseased brain” shall visit. However, the trial of Wesemann libel loses Goebbels.
But after Hitler came to power, the Reichstag fire and the DC circuit of the press in the spring of 1933, no margins are left more for critical journalism. Hans and Ruth left Germany like many other intellectuals, writers and artists (the “Emigrandezza” one quips). In London, they feel safe, but political activities are not allowed the Germans. Scotland Yard to monitor all and any agitation against Nazi Germany has the designation result. No wonder that the once highly regarded journalist Wesemann now for holding useless loses his self-esteem.
Also fled to London Ruth’s cousin Dora Fabian. Even as a fourteen-year-old young socialist they had demonstrated in 1915 before the Krupp factory gates against the arms industry, and later was active in the pacifist SPD elimination USPD and eventually worked underground at the side of the Social Democratic journalist Mathilde Wurm to “the rest of the world from Hitler’s war plans to warn”. Dora, a Jewish woman has secret contacts right up to information sources in Germany’s center of power. Her cousin Ruth she trusts, but compared to Hans she cherishes suspicion.
On April 1st, 1935 Dora and Mathilde are lifeless found side by side in bed. The British commission of inquiry finds a double suicide. This finding contradicts the Australian writer Anna Funder.
in 1985 learns Anna Funder in Melbourne Ruth leaf know. Between the writer and the sixty-year-older contemporary witness (from the novel the protagonist Ruth Becker), a lively exchange of ideas developed in personal conversations and letters. The only living person from the group of active abroad resisters of the Nazi regime familiar to the author of her life story. By Anna Funder they processed into a novel, she gives the forgotten heroes of a new life.
The events are alternately told from two-person perspectives. Which the frail, slightly demented Ruth Becker, after a fall in the hospital is located and will soon be released in palliative care, and the German writer, pacifist and socialist revolutionary Ernst Toller (1893 to 1939).
As a volunteer the first hour he experienced the horror in the trenches is bravely, suffered in May 1916 a complete breakdown is 1,917 found to be unfit for further war effort and then turns to literature and politics. In Munich, he met the young Dora Fabian know who is his secretary and mistress. In the Munich Soviet Republic (1918), he plays a major role, for which he must serve a five-year imprisonment after their crackdown. As a writer Ernst Toller takes a remarkable development from expressionist ideas and station drama ( “The Transformation”, 1919; “mass man”, 1920) to modern avant-garde theater of the Weimar Republic.
Even before Hitler came to power, the prominent socialist and Jew flees Great to London and then emigrated to the United States in 1935. In May 1939, he lives in a room at the New Yorker Hotel Mayflower, which he, plagued by depression, keeps constantly gloomy. he wants along with the secretary Clara here finally continue his life story “A Youth in Germany” to write that he had to cancel six years earlier. He has found that his memoirs “subtle, shamefully self glorifying” are by “someone … not taken into account” has – Dora Fabian, “whose brave act I owe the rescue of these manuscripts” and “ended their lives sad” , In the supplement he wants to feel “Dora’s voice in my ear, and their smell in the nose,” and “I need the present tense as a spell” to “from Dora not a bad version of herself” will leave. On May 22, 1939 but seriously, deeply disappointed idealist hanged Toller.
Fortunately achieved from Toller’s autobiography, which Ruth was still alive, and their own memories creates a gripping novel, deeply rooted in history is. Brave men and emancipated women followed their ideals of a peaceful, just world and fought tirelessly against war and totalitarianism. is as impressive as they were without compromise for each other and stood for it to put their lives on the ready. More importantly, it is that some of those who trust and secure in their midst lived, deceive and could discover.