Jakob der Luegner
book — Germany — 1969

This is Jurek Becker`s most highly acclaimed work, and not without a reason. Jakob is a Jew in a gheto close to a small village in Poland who accidentally hears over a German radio that the Soviet army is but a few hundred kilometres away. When telling these news to other jews he knows that he would need to tell how exactly he heard the news, but that he can`t do - `cos it was in a German institution where he amazingly escaped death but he knew that the jews wouldn`t think that he was saved just for nothing. Anyhow he tells that he got a radio hidden at his place and that it`s where he got news from. And after that little lie he starts providing imaginary news to the jews everyday, in this way keeping them alive and hoping. But it`s not that easy for himself, for Jakob is no hero, and many times he`s close to giving himself in. What happens in the end is not really clear - the author provides two versions - in one of which the Soviet army comes fast enough to save the jews, while in the other case - it doesn`t. This book reminded me of the film "The Pianist" by Roman Polanski, only in a less pathetic manner.
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