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The enduring classic of a friendship torn apart by Nazism.

About the Author

Kressman Taylor worked as an advertising copywriter between 1926 and 1928 and then devoted her time, with her husband Elliott Taylor, to raising their three children. This book was based on a few actual letters, and through discussions with her husband emerged for publication in its finished form in 1938.


Published to acclaim and impressive sales‘50,000 copies‘in 1938, this is one of the earliest pieces of Holocaust fiction. The epistolary novel reveals the rising tide of evil in Germany through the correspondence between two friends, one of whom is living in San Francisco, the other in Berlin.

First published in 1938 in Story magazine as a wake-up call warning Americans of the true nature of the Nazi menace, this punchy epistolary tale enacts a stunning drama of friendship, betrayal and vengeance. In 1932, San Francisco art-gallery owner Max Eisenstein, a Jew who grew up in pre-Nazi Germany, bids farewell to his longtime friend and business partner Martin Schulse, who returns with his family to Munich, where he becomes a Nazi. Through their letters to one another, which quickly move from warmth to a chilling disregard, we watch as the once-liberal Martin, seduced by grandiose visions of German destiny and by the rantings of ``our Glorious Leader,'' vents an anti-Semitism that he tortuously rationalizes. Max, alarmed by reports of anti-Jewish persecution in Germany, asks Martin to look after his actress sister, Griselle, who is performing in Berlin. When she is murdered by Nazi storm troopers after being refused refuge at the Schulse house, Max takes revenge through a clever epistolary ploy that provides a satisfying surprise ending. Nearly 60 years after its initial publication, Kressman's story serves not only as a reminder of Nazi horrors but as a cautionary tale in light of current racial, ethnic and nationalist intolerance. (Mar.)

The re-issue of a classic novel. It is written in the form of letters between two friends, one an American Jew and the other his friend and business partner who has returned to his native Germany. Originally published in 1938 it exposed the poison of Nazism.

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