World War II is a shared human history told through many languages and perspectives. Our works in translation can provide a more complete picture of this catastrophic period that gripped the world for years. This week, we’ll begin with a look at Ernst Jünger’s first-hand account of wartime Paris in A German Officer in Occupied Paris: The War Journals, 1941-1945. A decorated and controversial military leader and memoirist, Jünger recorded a huge range of wartime experiences: life as a mail censor, the atrocities of the eastern front, the politics of collaboration, the plot to assassinate Hitler, and his reunion with his family. On the otherhand, French historian Olivier Wieviorka’s The Resistance in Western Europe, 1940–1945, translated by Jane Marie Todd, focuses not on national militaries but on underground organizations from across Europe to consider anti-Nazi resistance on a continental scale. Finally, Emil Draitser contemplates how WWII shaped the Soviet-Jewish experience after 1945 in his take on the Russian novel Redemption by Friedrich Gorenstein. Underappreciated during the author’s life, Redemption is the story of Sashenka, a resentful teenage girl who denounces her mother to the authorities for stealing food when her mother takes a new lover. Sashenka and a Jewish lieutenant must come to terms with the trauma of the war and Holocaust while navigating Stalin’s police state.
Check back throughout the week for guest posts by the translators of these works, and fill out the form below for your chance to win a copy of one of these fascinating books!
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