HOTEL BERLIN '43 by Vicki Baum


Email this review


Serialized in Colliers, April choice of the Literary Guild, and sold as a picture to Warner Brothers, this is more or less tailored to order as an easy seller, and a top renter. Once again the old crisscross for the Grand Hotel of 1943, monopolised by the well fed and well dressed of Hitler's crude elite. There is von Dahnwitz, Prussian General, who had planned a coup against the losing Nazis and was found out and politely asked to suicide; Otto, a flier, on three day leave; Tilli, shopworn barfly, who has forgotten her Jewish lover and sells out for a pair of shoes; Geoffrey Nichols, prisoner of war who preserves his life at the expense of his country; and most important of all, Dahnwitz' young mistress, Lisa Dorn, ignorant and innocent but much courted young actress. She meets Martin Richter, fugitive from the Gestapo, conceals him, and through him realises the brutalities of the regime, and -- following an air blitz -- escapes with him via Underground. It will be interesting to see whether a book backgrounded in Germany, and handling characters with various degrees of realism and sympathy will capture the old Grand Hotel market, or whether it will be tagged as another beltline bauble.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1944
Publisher: Doubleday, Doran