ANSWER IN THE SKY by Dieter Meichsner


Email this review


Germany and England have hailed this as a more than promising first novel, one of the few to come out of postwar Germany. It has a kind of poignant and imaginative quality, though the obliqueness with which the story is told somehow robs it of reality. Rather it seems told in a dream. The time is the week of Hitler's death; the place, rendezvous of a small German unit in the Bavarian Alps, where the commanding officer conceives a gesture, in the taking of a lightly protected, American occupied village. He lays his plans -- chooses as one of his leaders a young Nazi-trained lieutenant, Michael Gartner, and then discovers that Gartner has disappeared...During that week, Gartner had met a strange girl, Irene, on a cattle farm where he'd been sent to gather in supplies. He falls in love- keeps coming back- though she wont let him make love to her. Finally, he learns that her secret is that she is a Jewess, and knows his probable prejudices. But with this knowledge, he realizes that only his love matters- the war is over for him- and he deserts. Then comes the failure of the attack on the village- the flight of the reconnaissance plane seeking the hidden camp -- the assumption that the farm the camp and the attack and demolition from the air- while Gartner, unknowing, goes on to a future with Irene. Ironical, bitter, but with moments of tenderness. Question- is the public ready for a sensitive love story built around this setting and theme?

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1953
Publisher: Funk & Wagnalls