DEATH IN ROME by Wolfgang Koeppen


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In Rome, magnificent, decadent, the Holy City with its unhallowed past, Gottlieb Judejahn, one of Hitler's leaders, lives on- in exile-and keeps alive the monstrous Nazi myth and mystique. He is a gross, degenerate, dangerous man, obsessed by hate and lust, hoping for the day when he will return- to power. So do others; not his wife, Eva, to whom he is dead with the regime, but her brother, Pfaffrath, who brings her to Rome - along with his son Adolf, a priest, and therefore an object of his contempt. In Rome as well is his nephew Siegfried, also a renegade, a composer who is now introduced to the world by a great conductor- whose wife's family Judejahn had once persecuted. In the few days here, always alone and eventually repudiated, Judejahn is driven to a last, senseless crime, dies among the ruins.... A fable of the times might be more persuasive and therefore pertinent if it were less grotesque, more effective if it were less excessive.

Pub Date: April 21st, 1961
ISBN: 0393321940
Publisher: Vanguard