Saturday, January 3, 2015

Hitler redux

Now, for a change of pace: Adrienne gave me for Christmas the book Er ist wieder da: Der Roman by Timur Vermes. It is a first novel by the author and recounts the reappearance of Adolf Hitler, time capsule–transported to a vacant lot in Berlin, sixty years after his supposed death in his Berlin bunker. Waking up, he finds himself homeless and destitute. When he discovers, from the front page of a newspaper, that it is 2011, he promptly faints and is initially given shelter by the owner of the kiosk. Since he is immediately recognizable, people at first take him for a figure in a TV series ("Stromberg") who has parodied Hitler. The kiosk owner is astute enough to get in touch with media folks, who in turn believe he is a method actor. Among this reborn Hitler's many false inferences –– and an indication that he sees events through a Nazi perspective –– the presence of so many Turks in Berlin convinces him that Turkey joined the Axis. He achieves modern celebrity status through his rants, which are broadcast on YouTube. I have not yet reached the end of the novel, but apparently he is heading for a return to politics. Empfehlungswert?? Hmmm. The novel hit the bestseller lists in Germany. Check out the Guardian review.

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