Angle of History


7 There is no twist

The author did not take his liberty to alter the history course. After all the hardships, Benjamin didn’t make it at the end of the tortuous journey. He died with agony in a Spanish hotel and was buried under a nameless tombstone. It is a book about a great literature figure Benjamin Walter. The fact that he is Jew lived in Germany during the 2nd World War made those last moments of his life extraordinary. It is a book written by a then soldier who had met Benjamin nearly the end of his life. Benjamin had passed his much treasured manuscript to him, hoping that one day the soldier can pass them to his editor. Ironically, the soldier found the only value in those greasy, corrugated pages which Benjamin protected more than his life was the warmth from burning them. The soldier survived; so does his facet of the story.

The is the second book I read about Jews during the 2nd World War, the first one was Man’s Search for Meaning. Both books are written with immense emotion pertained particularly with people in that era of human history. Life became so fragile and uncertain that seemed everything was at the verge of collapsing: a constant fear, an animal instinct of survival, a relentless struggle between retreating and compromise. Reality strips away the slightest hope from people. Tomorrow was no longer a promise but rather a curse. People who you loved were taken away; career aspiration had been shattered; life had been reduced to mere humiliation. Benjamin was a knowledgeable and respective man. However, he was not a good husband; neither was he a good brother. He treated everyone else with courtesy but to the people close, whom he treated with disgust and distrust.

Just imagination of the cruelty of war makes me shivering. Bombs shelling from the sky, cannons trembling the ground, people screaming, blood, limbs, hanging strips of clothes, wreckages disguising the charred landscape. Not everyone has the courage to live in hell. Hope, was just too scarcely to be found. A great book with beautiful literature. A story with straight forward ending.

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