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The Father of a Murderer

by Alfred Andersch

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A subtle, resonant short novel. One learns more from it about the tensions within German society that allowed the Nazi party to come to power than from a long shell of deep-thinking historical research. Andersch never received the recognition he deserved Commonly regarded as his masterpiece, The Father of a Murderer is now available from New Directions.

Chicago Tribune

The Father of a Murderer takes place in a classroom of the Wittelsbach Gymnasium in 1920s Munich over the course of a single Greek lesson. Headmaster Himmler (the father of Heinrich Himmler) enters the classroom, apparently to observe the students’ progress. However, he soon takes over the lesson himself. Himmler mercilessly tests the boys, but his real purpose is to teach a political lesson to the German youths, and through them to settle scores with their fathers.

The Father of a Murderer

Fiction by Alfred Andersch

translated by Leila Vennewitz
published April 1st, 1994