Susanne Vees-Gulani. Trauma and Guilt: Literature of Wartime Bombing in Germany. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2003. 217 pp. $105.30 (cloth), ISBN 978-3-11-017808-1.
Reviewed by Scott Denham (Department of German and Russian, Davidson College)
Published on H-German (January, 2005)
Healing by Novels?
A great swell of public memory and remembering is on the move in Germany, a project without plan, an almost concerted effort, it seems, to be done with the pain and damage and psychosis that all came about in the war generally and specifically in the traumatic bombings of German cities and German people. Cultures of memory and memorializing about the trauma of the war have had a place in the public sphere in Germany for years, but the tendency has been to avoid the topic of Germans as victims--for obvious reasons, not least of all simple tact in the face of so many other non-German victims of German aggression before and during World War II. It was seen by many, both within Germany and certainly abroad, as bad form to mark German victimization or even sometimes to mourn German death and loss: think of the international discomfort caused by the rhetoric of loss expressed during annual meetings of the Sudetendeutsche Landsmannschaften and the Bund der Vertriebenen, or of the uproar at Kohl and Reagan's visit to the military cemetery at Bitburg some twenty years ago now, for example. For German loss to be publicly marked in ways tactful and appropriate, it seems that some kind of impersonal monument was called for. The ruins of the Anhalter Bahnhof in Berlin were and remain as much an unintended monument to the wartime bombings as the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche was an intended one. The ruins of the Frauenkirche in Dresden were left explicitly as a memorial sign of the destruction and loss of the bombing of February 13-14, 1945, and despite GDR attempts to interpret them as a warning against western (capitalist) militarism, they seemed to have more meaning as a kind of provisional gravestone for the approximately 35,000 (current best estimates) killed in the Dresden bombing. The restoration of that church is also seen as an act of reconciliation, with a group of British citizens recently taking part in a ceremony marking the completion of the restored dome. Most bombed cities have some sort of memorial to those killed by Allied bombs in the war; most have plaques on important public buildings and churches with dates of construction, destruction, and reconstruction. But on the whole, this is a silent kind of memory, and muted memorialization, presented, but not explicitly narrated. Even those publicly sponsored texts of mourning, the so-called Gedenkbücher, published widely in the years just after the war, are generally not much more than a list of names of those killed and perhaps "before" and "after" photographs of the city destroyed. And local histories shied away from individual stories of suffering in the bombings, opting instead for lists and inventories. The Germans suffered, and their suffering was marked in various intended and unintended ways, but where were the stories of German suffering?
This, of course, is the by now infamous accusation put forth by W. G. Sebald in his 1997 Zurich lectures, published to modest interest in German in 1999 and with notable resonance in English posthumously in the New Yorker magazine--circulation over 900,000--in 2002 and in book form in 2003. The broad sweep of recent work on the bombing of Germany and on German suffering--from Sebald to Joerg Friedrich, Günter Grass's Crabwalk, and war books by Hans Erich Nossack and others--has been discussed already in these pages in the H-German forum from November 2003. Here, though, is Sebald's statement, by way of review: "There was a tacit agreement, equally binding on everyone, that the true state of material and moral ruin in which the country found itself was not to be described. The darkest aspects of the final act of destruction, as experienced by the great majority of the German population, remained under a kind of taboo like a shameful family secret, a secret that perhaps could note even be privately acknowledged." This statement was not challenged in the English-speaking world, and even in Germany was generally taken to be an accurate assessment of the situation, in German literature at least, with respect to portraying the air war. Volker Hage, a literary expert at the Spiegel magazine who has become the best-known journalistic authority on the airwar, granted that Sebald was right: "I was convinced by these ideas at the time ... I agreed in the main with the notion that the representation of the air war in German literature had played no significant role" and further, "no text comes to mind, neither a novel nor a story, neither journalism nor poetry, that could stand as a popular literary testimony to the airwar." But then Hage goes on to present dozens of examples of German literary representations of the bombings, of German suffering, of cases that show Sebald's accusation as hyperbole. There were literary treatments of the bombings, after all, but they were not read, not received, not acknowledged. No one wanted to hear of the pain, the destruction, the death. The trauma, though touched on by some authors, was too much, if not for words, then for readers.
"Trauma" is a concept that often comes up in this context. There seems to be a common, assumed, or understood notion about "trauma," that it causes silence that can only be overcome by some kind of testimony or witnessing or confession. Common sense or personal experience might tell us this kind of sequence of events is reasonable traumatic experience, then silence for a long time, then witnessing (or testimony or some kind of therapeutic situation--narration or story-telling), then a kind of healing through the process of narration itself, or perhaps also through the understanding and sympathy of the addressee, the listener or reader. We think we know, presumptuously, somehow, that individuals can "cure" trauma by talking or writing about it. And then we often jump from the individual experience to the collective: if talking about one's personal trauma can lead to a cure for an individual, then a popular novel about trauma by an important public figure must also lead to a cure for the society, or so goes the logic. But things are of course much more complicated than this.
In her new study of trauma and guilt in the novels about the wartime bombing of Germany, Susanne Vees-Gulani seeks to bring some rigor into our understanding of trauma, storytelling, and public and private notions of the facility of narration to lead to understanding, "mastery," or psychosocial health. She does this in the context of close readings of several novels about the wartime bombing of Germany, taking as her starting point not only a discussion of Sebald's concept of the taboo, but also a thorough review of how postwar German society has confronted the Nazi and wartime past. In this task she is most successful, for she not only provides readers with a thorough, measured, and up-to-date review of the public discussions of the allied bombings, she also situates the all-too-often casual use of the term "trauma" in discussions of literature within the actual medical and psychiatric usage of the term. She answers the question "what is trauma."
The work of James Pennebaker has shown that in clinical situations, story telling can help heal people suffering from various effects of trauma. Vees-Gulani surveys his work and that of others in a concise chapter that defines post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which became officially recognized in diagnostic manuals in 1980, and explains the recent literary-critical interest in trauma, both in medical literature and in fiction. She then begins to make some cautious connections. She points out that "the process writers have to go through in order to create a story of the trauma can be compared to the ones described in cognitive PTSD models" (p. 36) and argues that even though readers' common sense desires might lead them to believe that writing and even reading texts about trauma can banish the demons, things are really much more complicated. Some have also argued that creative writers, who deal often in the currency of empathy and catharsis are especially well-suited to allow people to understand traumatic experience. We know this already from Aristotle. But can empathy or understanding or catharsis really heal? Can it heal readers, heal a society? The leap from a demonstrated clinical result--stories about trauma help heal the traumatized--to assumptions about how novels work in society--books about trauma help everyone understand the experience of trauma--is huge. Nevertheless it is one we tend to make. But there are key differences: clinically inspired narratives that seek to heal trauma are private; novels are public. Stories about trauma written by victims of trauma are inherently different from those written by those further from the traumatic experience (witnesses, bystanders, or merely those with creative imaginations). Public texts--novels, mainly, in this case--become part of a "network of social, political, and moral currents that define both society and its culture and will be evaluated in accordance with their values and opinions" (p. 36). That is, readers will judge the legitimacy of a text that helps generate empathy with its traumatized characters. When the traumatized are victims (of the Holocaust, child abuse, rape), the author faces "the difficult task and heavy burden of creating the trauma in a way that is accessible to the audience and accurately conveys the horror of the experience, but the author can feel relatively safe from being accused of trying to rewrite history" (p. 36) Here I think of Cynthia Ozick's story "The Shawl" as a good example. But what about the case at hand, namely German novels about the trauma suffered by Germans in the wartime bombings or German victims? The trauma of the bombings, as Sebald suggested, was experienced by a vast majority of Germans. How was this traumatic experience represented in novels? How were these novels received? How do questions of German guilt and responsibility figure into the creation and reception of these books? After setting us straight on how to use the clinical term trauma legitimately in the context of literary criticism, and after a subsequent chapter that surveys concepts of guilt and shame about the Holocaust and the war in postwar Germany (anchored around Jaspers's Schuldfrage (1946), the Mitscherlichs' Unfähigkeit zu Trauern (1967), Weizsäcker's 8th of May 1985 speech), Vees-Gulani embarks on close readings of the key texts.
She works mainly chronologically within three categories. The first she calls "the view from within," which includes German authors: Hans Erich Nossack, Wolfgang Borchert, Gerd Ledig, Alexander Kluge, Walter Kempowski, Dieter Forte, and W. G. Sebald. The second, "a welcome catastrophe," covers "Jewish-German" voices: Werner Schmidt, Victor Klemperer, Wolf Biermann, and Guenter Kunert. Finally, she treats non-German, "international reactions," to the bombings, covering novels by Kurt Vonnegut, Harry Mulisch, and Henri Coulonges. Vees-Gulani is quite right to criticize the cultural establishment for its lack of real engagement with the texts that are so often mentioned in the aftermath of Sebald's "taboo" accusation: "Names and titles bounce back and forth in the culture sections of the newspapers, the number of books are added up and people ask themselves how many works would be enough to disqualify Sebald's assumption of a German taboo surrounding the events, while other critics question whether the debate is even appropriate. The existing literary accounts themselves, however, which describe the air raids and their consequences, are hardly explored. Yet it is precisely in these texts and their surrounding circumstances that answers are found to many important questions in the debate" (p. 69). For Vees-Gulani, the important questions have to do with trauma and guilt and how these manifest themselves and function in the narratives. But in looking particularly at the reception (or, mainly, lack of such) of the German novels, she also points to some useful and eye-opening ideas about why the German novels about the wartime bombing were received as they were, in a fundamentally different manner as were the novels of Jewish-Germans and non-Germans.
Her readings of the German novels are well-grounded in the critical literature, sensible, and integrated into the post-Sebald debates about possibilities of representing German suffering. The first section on Nossack, Borchert, and Ledig seeks also to explain the relative lack of positive reception of Nossack and Ledig, and the generally positive view of Borchert in the three decades after the war. She introduces each author briefly, then moves to the texts under discussion. Nossack enjoyed modest success with his Bericht, which has stayed in print since its first publication in 1948. Nossack in some ways models what traumatized Germans could do to help banish the demons of the bombings and their causes: write about it. With her interest in the mechanics of trauma and writing, Vees-Gulani finds Nossack's self-reflective attitude most apt. He wonders: "Wozu? Wozu dies alles niederschreiben?" and gives himself and us this answer: "Ich fühle mich beauftragt, darüber Rechenschaft abzulegen. Es soll mich niemand fragen, warum ich so vermessen von einem Auftrag rede: ich kann ihm nicht darauf antworten. Ich habe das Gefuehl, dass mir der Mund für alle Zeiten verschlossen bleiben wuerde, wenn ich nicht dies zuvor erledigte" (quoted, pp. 72-73). Nossack described the bombing of Hamburg more for himself than for anyone, and though his text stands on its own to this day, he remains relatively unknown, even after Sebald reminded the current generation of readers of his book. If Nossack's work helped him work through his own trauma and begin his career as a writer anew, it could also have served as a model for Germany: take a good hard look at the mess (that seems just to have "happened"--do not get into the cause of things!), and then get on with life. Nossack did just this, and his literary work after Der Untergang, though prolific, does not qualitatively stand the test of time, I think. Wolfgang Borchert, on the other hand, enjoyed a brief but intensely successful career (he died in 1947 at the age of twenty-six) and his work, especially the play "Draussen vor der Tür," became the iconic postwar example of the so-called rubble literature. He is still well-known, perhaps because of his early death and the fact that his stories were anthologized widely, especially by Germanists in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s. Vees-Gulani revises the postwar assessments of Borchert, though, by looking closely at his work through the lens of trauma and guilt. Unlike Ledig, whom she treats after Borchert, she finds Borchert lacking: "Borchert manages to capture the physical and psychological situation of Germans in the immediate postwar years. Yet there is very little, if any, true confrontation with the past and any guilt that could arise from it. While guilt seems to flow like an undercurrent through his stories, it never really rises to the surface" (p. 84). Borchert represents the immediate postwar generation well, for "Borchert ignores causalities completely through his all-inclusive 'no' to the past and 'yes' to the present and future" (p. 85). Vees-Gulani calls for a critical reassessment of Borchert and does so in the light of other--and here I read between her lines--"better" prose about the German experience of wartime bombings.
In Gerd Ledig's 1956 novel Vergeltung she finds the first evidence of a novel that both portrays a heavy air raid in grim detail, from various points of view, and explains why the death and destruction had come to pass. Ledig's 1955 novel Stalinorgel was a huge success. Despite its graphic portrayal of a three-day battle between Germans and Soviet soldiers near Leningrad (similar to one in which Ledig himself fought and was seriously wounded), readers were interested. They found some connection to the portrayal of falling and fallen soldiers on the Eastern Front. There, death might still be seen as having some meaning. But when Ledig told of dying women and children in air raid shelters, and of others, from an American flyer to Soviet POWs to boy Flakhelfer to a bourgeois couple in their gracious apartment standing in flames, all dying, all helpless, all full of human flaws that come out especially under the stress of the hour-long firebombing, readers said no. Across the board, reviewers found the novel unacceptable: "gewollte makabre Schreckensmalerei," "abscheuliche Perversität," "Gruselkabinett," were some of the responses. Perhaps the most telling criticism of the novel came from the review in the Badische Zeitung, which argues that ten years after the end of the war, readers had to reject this portrayal of the war, since it left readers without "jeden positiv gerichteten metaphysischen Hintergrund und Ausblick." Vees-Gulani points out that it was not only this lack of positive spin, but the gestures toward judgment that come up a few times in the novel that readers were not ready to confront. When characters say: "Wir bezahlen die Rechnung" or "Ich schäme mich für die, die das getan haben," Ledig is posing "questions of responsibility" and seemed even to diagnose the German reaction to the war and the bombings already in 1956, when he wrote, in the epilogue to the novel, "Eine Stunde genügte, und das Grauen triumphierte. Später wollten einige das vergessen. Die anderen wollten es nicht mehr wissen. Angeblich hätten sie es nicht ändern können" (quoted, pp. 92-93). Vees-Gulani properly sees the novel as having been "cleared away with the rest of the rubble that would remind one of the destructive consequences of the war" (p. 93).
Vees-Gulani then moves away from immediate postwar fiction (if we count Nossack's Bericht as a more rather than less literary construction), first to two documentary texts: Alexander Kluge's "Der Luftangriff auf Halberstadt am 8. April 1945" (1977) and Walter Kempowski's somewhat bizarre and increasingly monumental "Echolot" project. There is a good deal of criticism available on Kluge already, which receives its due. Vees-Gulani is especially interested in Kluge's use of irony and the various tensions he creates within the text. Her discussion of Kempowski is especially welcome, as his work is hardly known in English. The "Echolot" (meaning "depth sounder") project encompasses ten volumes, some nine thousand pages in all, each book covering relatively small amounts of time, but synchronically narrating events during the war from many different points of view, each voice authentic, gathered together by Kempowski from diaries, letters, published memoirs, and scores of unpublished manuscripts, from both prominent and unknown writers. The result is indeed a "collective diary." Kempowski is more the director of a choir than author in the "Echolot" collections, contrary to his role as author of novels. Yet in the "Echolot" he sets the tone and tells the story, even thought the words he uses are not his. It is brilliant work and demanding reading because of its scope, but even with Kempowski's juxtaposition of various voices invoking irony and criticism, their general lack of evaluation and judgment is evident. This is natural, given the perspective from which the diaries and letters were written; yet Vees-Gulani finds Kempowski's project less progressive than Kluge's in using documentary techniques to work through trauma and guilt. I find her inclusion of Kempowski, however, to be an important step toward moving the "Echolot" project into the field of view of Germanists and historians, especially in the United States. It is fascinating material and well worth reading.
Kempowski has a modest following in Germany, and his work has been only recently discovered abroad. Similarly, Dieter Forte, another contemporary novelist with a modest readership in German, has also written recently about the German experience of the wartime bombings (among other things). Vees-Gulani finds his "powerful" description of the bombings "unparalleled in other German texts" (p. 112). His picture is "more complete," his account "more poised." His novels are, for Vees-Gulani, successful in portraying trauma, negotiating guilt, and ultimately helping to heal. Even with reasonable caveats about the distance between experience and representation and about the relatively tenuous connections between narrating trauma and healing its effects, it is clear that she sees Forte's work, especially Der Junge mit den blutigen Schuhen, as an outstanding contribution to postwar, and thus post-traumatic, healing. The question remains whether Forte's own experience as author (and one who lived through bombings and was marked by the knowledge), which healed him in a way as he says in interviews, is somehow transferable to readers. Vees-Gulani sees better chances of this in realistic, psychological novels like Forte's. "Forte gives readers the opportunity to gain insight into the experience of the destructive forces of modern technological advances as well as a glimpse at the detrimental effects trauma of such magnitude can have on the individual" (p. 119).
Her further treatment of various literary representations by writers we might call outsiders is, like the rest of her study, clear, well-grounded, and sensible. She treats closely Sebald's airwar essay, and is quite critical of Sebald's polemical stance toward literature of the wartime bombings that does indeed exist; she calls his essay, "an objective literary and cultural analysis ... at times strangely confused, unbalanced, and contradictory" (p. 124). But more importantly, she also analyzes his long poem and first work of literature "Nach der Natur" (1988), Sebald's least-known work of literature. In it, Sebald's lyrical first-person narrator (who is generally read as an autobiographical voice) tells how his mother witnessed the bombing and destruction of Nueremberg, the same day she realizes that she is pregnant with him. This genealogy is fascinating in itself, and more so given Sebald's influence in bringing attention to the problem of representation of the wartime bombings.
In turning to Jewish-German voices, which, along with foreign voices, make up the objects for the rest of the study, Vees-Gulani presents once again convincing and helpful analyses of some well-known and some lesser-known works and authors. Among them is the memoir Leben an Grenzen (1989), whose author, Werner Schmidt, was the product of what the Germans called then a "Mischehe." Unable to emigrate, he finished his medical studies in Germany and in 1940 finally got a job as a pathologist and doctoral candidate at a clinic in Hamburg. Throughout the war he witnessed the murderous side of the regime by way of the autopsies he was required to perform. Many of those were on Soviet POWs and even concentration camps inmates: "Im Keller der Gießener Anatomie zeigte mir Prof. Wagenseil einen Haufen ausgemergelter Leichen, KZ-Häftlinge. Man hatte die an einem Bahndamm in der Nähe gefunden und in sein Institut geschafft; waren gewiss bei Nacht und Nebel aus dem Waggon geworfen worden. Was sah ich in Hamburg. Man hatte hier Russen verhungern lassen. Heimatland" (p. 133). Later, Schmidt witnesses the destruction of Dresden and despite his sorrow at the loss of life and of the beautiful city concludes, "Den 'Herren' wird der Mut schon vergehen, wenn sie von Dresden hören. Es ist aus, ganz und gar aus, sie können nicht mehr zurückschlagen" (p. 134). Vees-Gulani explains well how Schmidt can represent an interpretation of the "double role of the airwar in the lives of those who were under constant threat by National Socialism. Despite the havoc they wrought and the destructive consequences that necessarily accompanied them, the bombs were definitely also understood as signs of freedom and the beginning of the end of the war" (p. 134). This theme attends her readings of Viktor Klemperer, Wolf Biermann, and Günter Kunert.
"International Reactions" are manifested in novels by Kurt Vonnegut (Slaughterhouse-Five, 1969), Harry Mulisch (Het stenen bruidsbet, 1959; or The Stone Bridal Bed, 1962), and Henri Coulonges (L'Adieu a la femme sauvage, 1979; or Farewell Dresden, 1989), each of which treats the bombing of Dresden. Most readers will agree with Vees-Gulani's assessment that Vonnegut and Mulisch deal with the subjects of guilt, trauma, and history and memory exceptionally well. She treats Mulisch's novel at greater length than the others, and this section will serve as a good introduction to the work for new readers. It is clear that Mulisch's novel deserves broader readership in German and English; in fact it has recently been published in a new edition in German (Das steinerne Brautbett, 1994), though it remains out of print in English. Henri Coulonges's Dresden novel is less successful because of its contrived, melodramatic plot and unconvincing narrative voice. Nevertheless, it portrays the bombing of the city graphically and accurately.
Overall, Susanne Vees-Gulani's new book is a serious addition to current discussions of the novels of wartime bombings, specifically in its careful use of the terms trauma and guilt, its thorough survey of the "taboo"-debates to date, and its careful and informative readings of the novels. All the quotations are given in the original and in English translation, making the book useful for non-Germanists, undergraduates, and lay readers. It is also a handsome and sturdy volume, as one has come to expect from the publisher Walter de Gruyter, and is carefully prepared and cleanly edited. Vees-Gulani has made a useful, insightful, and welcome contribution to the critical debate. I sense in Susanne Vees-Gulani an idealist reader at work, one who, despite all knowledge to the contrary and with all the necessary qualifiers in place, still wants to believe that these novels can heal. I think she is right.
. W. G. Sebald, Luftkrieg und Literatur: Mit einem Essay zu Alfred Andersch (Munich: Hanser, 1999); "A Natural History of Destruction," New Yorker (November 4, 2002); and On the Natural History of Destruction: With Essays on Alfred Andersch, Jean Amery, and Peter Weiss, trans. Anthea Bell (New York: Random House, 2003).
. H-German, Forum on World War II Bombing: <http://www.h-net.org/~german/discuss/WWIIbombing/WWII-bombingindex.htm>.
. Sebald, On the Natural History of Destruction, p. 10. "Der wahre Zustand der materiellen und moralischen Vernichtung, in welchem das ganze Land sich befand, durfte aufgrund einer stillschweigend eingegangenen und für alle gleichermassen gültigen Vereinbarung nicht beschrieben werden. Die finstersten Aspekte des von der weitaus überwiegenden Mehrheit der deutschen Bevölkerung miterlebten Schlussakts der Zerstörung blieben so ein schandbares, mit einer Art Tabu behaftetes Familiengeheimnis, das man vielleicht nicht einmal sich selber eingestehen konnte" (Sebald, Luftkrieg, p. 18).
. See, for example, Julia Klein, "Germans as Victims of World War II," Chronicle of Higher Education 49, no. 32 (April 18, 2003): B16-B17; or Peter Schneider, "The Germans are Breaking an Old Taboo," New York Times (January 18, 2003).
. Hage: "Mich überzeugten diese Ansichten damals.... ich teilte im wesentlichen die Meinung, dass die Darstellung des Luftkriegs in der deutschen Literatur keine nennenswerte Rolle gespielt habe ... es lässt sich weder ein Roman noch eine Erzählung, weder eine Reportage noch ein Gedicht finden, der als populäres literarisches Zeugnis des Luftkriegs gelten könnte." Volker Hage, Zeugen der Zerstörung: Die Literaten und der Luftkrieg (Frankfurt a. M.: Fischer, 2003), pp. 114-15; my translation.
. James Pennebaker, "Telling Stories: The Health Benefits of Narrative," Literature and Medicine 19 (2000): pp. 3-18.
. In the case of Nossack, Vees-Gulani erroneously perpetuates Nossack's own myth of his early writing career during the Third Reich. He was not, as he claimed, and Vees-Gulani repeats (along with several other literary historians and critics over the years), prohibited from publishing under the Nazis; rather he accommodated himself to the regime and even applied for and received permission from the Reichsschrifttumskammer to publish poems in 1942. For details on this point and Nossack's autobiographical mythmaking, see my discussion of Nossack in the H-German forum on war bombing and, more eloquently, Joel Agee's introduction to his own translation of Nossack's Untergang: Hans Erich Nossack, The End: Hamburg 1943, translated and introduced by Joel Agee (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004).
. These cited in Volker Hage, Zeugen der Zerstörung, p. 46.
. There are now four sections of the monumental "Echolot" project. First published (1993) was the Stalingrad period, covering January and February 1945; then the part subtitled "Fuga Furiosa" (1999); third, a relatively slim volume "Der rote Hahn," on the bombing of Dresden (2001); and most recently, the Barbarossa volume (2002). Alongside this is Kempowski's grand sweep of novels, nine in all, that put forth a kind of history of the German middle class. Walter Kempowski, Das Echolot: Ein kollektives Tagebuch. Januar und Februar 1943, 4 vols. (Munich: Knaus, 1993); Das Echolot: Fuga Furiosa. Ein kollektives Tagebuch. 12. Januar bis 14. Februar 1945, 4 vols. (Munich: Knaus, 1999); Der Rote Hahn: Dresden im Februar 1945 (Munich: btb Goldmann, 2001); and Das Echolot: Barbarossa 1941. Ein kollektives Tagebuch (Munich: Albrecht Knaus, 2002).
. A conference on Kempowski and the Echolot project was held in the United States last year at Eastern Michigan Unversity: http://www.public.asu.edu/~dgilfill/kempowski/.
. Dieter Forte, Das Muster (Frankfurt a. M.: Fischer, 1992); Der Junge mit den blutigen Schuhen (Frankfurt a. M.: Fischer, 1995); and In der Erinnerung (Frankfurt a. M.: Fischer, 1998). The trilogy of all three novels appeared in paperback as Das Haus auf meinen Schultern (Frankfurt a. M.: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 2003).
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Scott Denham. Review of Vees-Gulani, Susanne, Trauma and Guilt: Literature of Wartime Bombing in Germany.
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