Walter Kempowski (1929 – 2007)
Until I read his obituary in the Guardian today, I had never heard of Walter Kempowski. However, when I read the details if his life and his writings about the ordinary Germans experience of WW II I was fascinated . I have always been drawn to this period of German history and that of the immediate postwar years. The lack of narrative and reporting about those years added to the mystery of what happened at a human level Heinrich Boll’s book, the Bread of those early Years was one of thew first books I read and I gained useful insights into the subject. Unfortunately I don’t read or write German and so have to rely on translations. Have any of Kempowski’s works been translated into English – particularly Echolat ?
The only translation I am aware of is “Did you ever see Hitler?” which was published by Avon Books in New York in 1975.
A translation of Echolot has not been issued I believe. It would be an immense undertaking but worth it. In my opinion, Echolot is one of the most important books in the 20th/21st centuries.
Have you heard of Böll’s “Und der Engel schwieg?” It’s a novel about the days after the war which was found in Böll’s estate.
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