Felix Hartlaub

War Notebooks from Paris

With drawings by the author and contemporary photos. With an afterword by Durs Grünbein
(German title: Kriegsaufzeichnungen aus Paris)
ca. 163 pages
Felix Hartlaub
Foto: Felix Hartlaub

Felix Hartlaub was born in 1913 in Bremen and died (missing) in 1945 in Berlin.

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Felix Hartlaub (1913–1945), one of the great hopes of German literature in the past century, went missing on one of the last days of the War in 1945. A historian by profession, Hartlaub left behind a small literary œuvre – his central work are his »Notebooks from the Second World War«, written in 1940/41 in occupied Paris, and later in the Führer Headquarters. These fragments belong to the most precise, sensitive and densest messages in the German language that have reached us from the years of World War II.

»In Paris, 1941«, writes Durs Grünbein, »he forgets not for a second that he is there as a member of the occupying forces. His low rank sharpens his sense of justice, his sense of shame when faced with the oppressed population. He believes that the relationship of the Germans with France is going to be discredited for years to come. Even though he had, with the curiosity of the historian, welcomed the redeployment to enemy territory. ›One has to watch the destruction of Europe up close…‹«