The Oppermanns

Lion Feuchtwanger, Joshua Cohen

Book cover for The Oppermanns
Book cover for The Oppermanns

The Oppermanns

The Oppermanns

Lion Feuchtwanger, Joshua Cohen

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Description

Written in real time, as the Nazis consolidated their power over the winter of 1933, The Oppermanns captures the fall of Weimar Germany through the eyes of one bourgeois Jewish family, shocked and paralyzed by an ideology they cannot comprehend.

In the foment of Weimar-era Berlin, the Oppermann brothers represent tradition and stability. One brother oversees the furniture chain founded by their grandfather, one is an eminent surgeon, one a respected critic. They are rich, cultured, liberal, and public spirited, proud inheritors of the German enlightenment. They don't see Hitler as a threat. Then, to their horror, the Nazis come to power, and the Oppermanns and their children are faced with the terrible decision of whether to adapt--if they can--flee, or try to fight.

Written in 1933, nearly in real time, The Oppermanns captures the day-to-day vertigo of watching a liberal democracy fall apart. As Joshua Cohen writes in his introduction to this new edition, it is "one of the last masterpieces of German-Jewish culture." Prescient and chilling, it has lost none of its power today.

About the Author

Lion Feuchtwanger (1884-1958) was known in the 1920s as a bestselling historical novelist, a frequent collaborator with Bertolt Brecht, and an early, outspoken critic of the Nazi movement. Forced into exile in France, Feuchtwanger and his wife were interned by the Vichy government during World War II. They escaped to the United States and settled in Pacific Palisades, where they became central figures in the émigré community that included Brecht as well as Thomas and Heinrich Mann, among many others.

Joshua Cohen is the author of the novels The Netanyahus, Moving Kings, and Witz, among others. He is the editor of He: Shorter Writings of Franz Kafka and I Want to Keep Smashing Myself Until I Am Whole: The Elias Canetti Reader.

Publishing Information

Publisher: McNally Editions
Pub date: 2022-10-18
Length: 400 pages
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