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Jugend auf der Landstrasse Berlin

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Ounce back and forth between institutions and the streets and gangs of Berlin Still their circumstances were so well described and realistically portrayed I found myself caring about what happened to them or at least the plights they represented Through their eyes you get a sense what life was like for the majority of people who were living on the margins while all the celebrated creativity and consumption of the roaring 20s passed them by One thing I was struck byreminded of while reading this is how absurdly tenuous our lives are how one mark on your bureaucratic record your papers etc then and now can leave you stuck between circular choices of crime and poverty A matter of fact and no nonsense account of teenage tearaways first published in 1932 and banned by the Nazi Party in 1933 for having the n Ayran gumption to tell the truth about bad stuff the authorities did Following a cast of delinuents in their misadventures in the down and out Haffner s novel might seem tame to modern audiences due to the censorship restrictions if nflinching in its descriptions of teenage prostitution and violence Making minor se of over the shoulder third person narration to bring the reader closer to the minds of his protagonists Haffner fails at psychological depth but brings a social worker s passion and meticulous eye to an otherwise From Mistress to Wifey uite straightforward first and last novel A future as an important socially conscious voice erased by his disappearance in the 1940s Those Nazis This is a novel from thenderside of the Weimar Republic less Isherwood than Alfred Doblin s Rainer Fassbinder s Berlin Alexanderplatz which is a prominent setting Ernst Haffner was a social worker and he wrote Disney Infinity: Character Encyclopedia unsparingly of what it was like to be a penniless adolescent in that society He seems to have seen and recorded it all flophouses reformatories without the reform prostitution both sides of the transaction violence with other gangs the criminal spiralpward from pickpocketing to offenses serious enough to bring down the wrath of the police and just how hard a youth had to work to escape that milieu He did not blink patronize moralize write sunny endings seek to improve or recommend solutions The novel is not even an indictment of society just the good solid honest creation of real characters whose fates matter to the reader It is a tragedy that this was Haffner s only book Blood Brothers was suppressed by the Nazis always the sign of an interesting book Haffner himself disappeared into the maw of World War II and his fate was left Dance With The Devil unrecorded even by Hitler s psychotic bureaucracy I had no idea this book existedntil I bought it in Germany It is every bit as revealing of nderclass life as are books by Albert Cossery and Francis Carco and US writers who appeared in pulp format such as Goodis McCoy Himes Iceberg Slim or Appel Simenon s stories of the effect of poverty on the psyche
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well as safety of young people also are relevant The Brothers are a group of homeless young men aged 16 25 The information about how people in 1930s Berlin sur Disappointing with an awkward translation Despite being published in 1932 there is nothing of the terror during that critical last year of the Weimar Republic which we readers know was all too present then A missed opportunity to be something important instead of a familiar by now depiction of Indigent Berlin Street Existence Berlin street existence stars Honest heartbreaking and yet full of hope Blutsbr der is another of those books that I bought at a *fleamarket and might never have heard of or bought otherwise Written by Ernst Haffner in 1932 the book is telling *and might never have heard of or bought otherwise Written by Ernst Haffner in 1932 the book is telling the story of young homeless boys fighting to survive in the streets of Berlin during the Great Depression It has recently been re published after having been forbidden by the Nazis in the times of WWII This read has been pretty intense and I haven t been able to put it down I am definitly going to keep my eyes open for books focusing on the time and characters at hand I was drawn to take this book out at our local library by the subject matter Germany 1930s Berlin and the sort of background that features in some of Philip Kerr s Bernie Gunther books I have been to Berlin on several occasions and I fear that the author Ernst Haffner a journalist and social worker who disappeared along with all records in WW2 may most likely have been a victim of the Nazi regime perhaps even meeting his end at the notorious Sachsenhausen campIt s an excellent read but depressing to realise that conditions for young men like the boys featured in this novel are still very far from getting the help they need to have a better life The youth detention. Ernst Haffner of whom nearly all traces were lost during the course of World War II Told in stark nsparing detail Haffner’s story delves into the illicit nderworld of Berlin on the eve of Hitler’s rise to power describing how these blo. A hyper realistic novel about life of street children in Berlin of the 30s Surviving on crime prostitution and temporary work that they manage to get here and there these children prostitution and temporary work that they manage to get here and there these children the bottom of life s barrel from a very early age They have nothing at all but each other and together they help each other through hunger the cold and other troubles till they get caught by the police sent to an institution or choose to leave the group which functions like an alternative family This is a powerful and accurate document against a society falling apart and the state institutions and services that fail to answer the needs of those fallen out of mainstream society Horrific to read at times yet also full of moments of human warmth and friendship Blood BrothersThe play Cabaret heavily informs modern perceptions of Weimar Germany We recall garter clad Liza Minnelli and elegant Joel Grey slinking their way through a decadent nderworld of sex and style It all seems so glamorous but the reality for most Germans at the time was colder duller and much miserableBlood Brothers a novel written by journalist Ernst Haffner In 1932 Delves Haffner in 1932 delves the glossy veneer of Berlin nightlife to relate the story of a gang of German street boys on the eve of Hitler s rise to powerHaffner s writing is of the Neue Sachlichkeit or New Objectivity or realism which rejects romanticism He writes a collage of the exploits and exploitation of these boys in a non emotional journalistic style relying on facts to indict German society and social ineuality rather than the gang members In this his prose pairs well with the vitriolic caricatures of anti Nazi artist Georg Grosz a contemporary of Haffner s who left Germany for the US in 1933 Haffner s tough troubled vulnerable boys are not the picturesue blond blue eyed gods the Nazis sought to portray their youth *as They are social outsiders the type of people the Nazi s labeled Asoziale and persecutedHaffner in Blood Brothers deftly shows *They are social outsiders the type of people the Nazi s labeled Asoziale and persecutedHaffner in Blood Brothers deftly shows absurdity of society demonizing those who steal in order to live their very lives He writes Their birth and early infancy coincided with the war and the years after From the moment they took their first ncertain steps they were on their own Father was at the Front or already listed missing Mother was turning grenades or coughing her lungs out a few grams at a time in explosives factories The kids with their turnip bellies not even potato bellies were always out for something to eat in courtyards and streets As they grew older gangs of them went out stealing Malignant little beasts Jonny their leader by virtue of his cold cunning intellect and ruthlessness guides them through the cold hostile streets organizing their thievery He is the thread that gives these vulnerable boys a sense of belonging and safety This kind of life can t be lived for long without something going wrong and something doesIn addition to Jonny we read of Ludwig who is arrested when he is tricked into attempting to claim a stolen baggage ticket and of Willi who runs away from a home for nderage youth after he is hit once too often making his way to Berlin by strapping himself beneath the train for the journey and of Fredrick who advocates graduating from petty crime to major theft resulting in the gang s downfallOne cannot survive the streets of Berlin alone Berlin endless merciless Berlin is too much for anyone on their own If there s two of you it feels different A night is only half as long and half as cold even hunger is only half as bad Haffner s humane depiction of the gang members in his book might have been a grave political error The Nazis burned and banned Blood Brothers within a year of it being first published Sometime after the writers Night of the Werewolf (Choose Your Own Nightmare, union affiliated with the Third Reich the Reichsschrifttumskammer summoned him to appear It is believed that Haffner complied He was never seen again If Jamal Khashoggi s recent disappearance is alarming it s because we ve seen this sort of thing before wwwtheliterarychickcom An engaging activist novel about delinuent teen boys growingp in 1930ish Berlin caught between the eually horrible options of life spent in a teen detention center and life on the streets It s a kind of muckraker novel but much subtle and nuanced than something like The Jungle The goal of the writer a social worker and journalist who wrote only this one novel was to open the readers eyes and create a bit of Lay My Burden Down understanding and maybe even some empathy for the kids who may have just stolen your wallet and run off into the night I found it really effective The narrative follows two teens not so much characters as expertly curated bundles of circumstances who Originally published in 1932 and banned by the Nazis one year later Blood Brothers follows a gang of young boys bound together bynwritten rules and mutual loyalty Blood Brothers is the only known novel by German social worker and journalist. Centres in Britain have a very *HIGH SUICIDE RATE AND APPARENTLY ARE *suicide rate and apparently are brutal The novel also gives extra pause for thought about what is behind the appearance of so many homeless youngsters on our streets around the worldOne thing I did find surprising was that even this writer clearly compassionate as he is has still apparently been influenced by anti Semitic thinking at the time as to me anyway his portrayal of Jewish characters seems to indicateA few Vérité (Love at Center Court, uotesOf young men from difficult backgrounds detained by the law and in borstal A youth spent in welfare or less apprenticed to crime that isn t a self chosen destiny And then prior convictions Untold numbers fail at the difficult glass hard wall of bourgeois prejudice and desire for retribution Untold numbers who might have liked to try a law abiding life for a change and But one thing he s learned in his long years of experience be it in Berlin or Italy or some burg in Silesia rich people don t do charity They d rather turn their dogs loose on beggars or slam doors in their faces Giving with a deep reflexivenderstanding of hunger and misery is something that only poor people do The Silesian mineworker the Italian labourer the nemployed geezer in Berlin Sometimes the backstory of an author adds to the legend of a great work of literature Ulysses S Grant wrote what many consider to be the greatest American autobiography after he learned he would die of cancer to provide for his family after he American autobiography after he learned he would die of cancer to provide for his family after he lost all his money Harper Lee wrote a seminal work of American fiction and decided to never write another book JD Salinger wrote the book that is a rite of passage for virtually every American high school or college student only to live in cryptic isolation John Kennedy Toole committed suicide before his novel was recognized at one of the great comic classics ever written And even rarely it s the lack of information about an author that intrigues as is the case with Ernst HaffnerVirtually nothing is known about Haffner there are no existing records about how he lived or died He was a social worker all traces of him disappeared in 1938 when he was summoned to one of Joseph Goebbels departments which was responsible for the printed word in Nazi Germany His only novel Jugend auf der Landstra e Berlin Youth on the streets of Berlin was published in 1932 and was one of the books burned by the Nazis on May 10 1933 Few of the 5000 copies of the book that were printed survived World War II Even fewer people remembered that it existeduntil 2015 when Aufbau Verlag the publishing house of communist East Germany that has been resurrected into one of the most respected imprints in Germany today published it with the title Blutsbr der Blood Brothers And what a wonderful book it isThe story revolves around a long forgotten episode of late Weimar depression era Berlin the lives of young people with no homes or families who lived on the fringes of society Most of the story revolves around two young men Ludwig and Willi who despite their ages of 19 and 20 are still considered boys At the time boys who were not dependents lived in prison like juvenile institutions Ludwig is a member of a gang the Blood Brothers or in the parlance of that time a cliue which acted as of a social support network who had escaped a juvenile institution two years earlier Willi escaped one four months earlier jumping on a freight train he thought would take him to Berlin but was instead bound for Cologne His adventurous ride on the axle of passenger train from Cologne to the outskirts of Berlin reveals everything one needs to know about his character Ludwig is duped into taking a rap for a crime with which he had nothing to do Before he is saved by his brothers Haffner teaches s a great deal about Weimar criminal justiceTheir adventures touch on many aspects of the Berlin lower classes gangs prostitution petty crimes the constant nearness of violence poverty and coping to survive There are characters who are reprehensible cynical conniving and oddly friendly But the true joy of the story is the inextinguishable optimism that keeps Ludwig and Willi going and eventually develops into the best of friendships Blutsbr der is one of those rare stories that burrows into your memory hopefully for a very long time It nderscores the one of those rare stories that burrows into your memory hopefully for a very long time It nderscores the and mystery of what Ernst Haffner may still have offered the world As I reflected on the characters it occurred to me that Ludwig and Willi and the other blood brothers would likely have been fighting a war six years after the events of this story How might have Haffner written their stories My bet is that he would have humanized them We can only speculate. Od brothers move from one petty crime to the next spending their nights in Losing Control underground bars and makeshift hostels struggling together to survive the harsh realities of gang life and finding in one another the legitimacy denied them by society.