THE ACCUSED by Jerrold Morgulas


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A weird and often powerful novel whose characters get less and less stock as their gloomy passions intertwine. Abromowitz, the cunning, whining little shammes bent on tracking down the face he remembers from a concentration camp beating; Zerlinski, a judge who served in the war crimes trials; Breitkopf, the pursued ex-Nazi who plots and executes a macabre one-man tribunal; Menashe, a go-between unawares, the little boy who picks up cash by playing with Breitkopf's Prussian tin soldiers and dancing in a bearskin. Two main themes in counterpoint: the familiar one of unpunished guilt, and the claim that the guilty are not transgressors, because there is no benign natural law to transgress--men are essentially evil. Morgulas succeeds in creating a self-contained, oppressively convincing little world where the nightmarish act and the philosophical arguments reinforce each other. No sages, victims, Lamed-Vovniks or Jewish salt here; not just another Nazi horror story or flimsy parable, but a novel with a real distinction which sustains its fine style, dark moods and moral dialectics to the end.

Pub Date: Sept. 29th, 1967
Publisher: Doubleday