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A Thousand Mosquito Bites

Thomas Powers: Jews in Wartime Dresden, 21 September 2000

I Shall Bear Witness: The Diaries of Victor Klemperer, 1933-41 
edited by Martin Chalmers.
Phoenix, 656 pp., £11.99, May 1999, 0 7538 0684 3
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To the Bitter End: The Diaries of Victor Klemperer, 1942-45 
edited by Martin Chalmers.
Phoenix, 704 pp., £8.99, August 2000, 0 7538 1069 7
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... burden of their complicity and silence. Klemperer’s thousand pages, as translated and edited by Martin Chalmers, are never boring, for all their repetitions, but they are not read quickly or easily. I couldn’t manage more than about thirty pages a day. But those pages bring to life what happened as no list of horrors could even begin to do. ‘The ...

A Gutter Subject

Neal Ascherson: Joachim Fest, 25 October 2012

Not Me: Memoirs of a German Childhood 
by Joachim Fest, translated by Martin Chalmers.
Atlantic, 316 pp., £20, August 2012, 978 1 84354 931 4
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... that it did. The explanation is that this translation has an unhappy history. Illness meant that Martin Chalmers, the translator, apparently never corrected the proofs; the publisher handed over the editing to junior staff, and the result was a series of painful howlers. One editor had evidently never heard of Theodor Fontane, and corrected his name to ...

In the Opposite Direction

David Blackbourn: Enzensberger, 25 March 2010

The Silences of Hammerstein 
by Hans Magnus Enzensberger, translated by Martin Chalmers.
Seagull, 465 pp., £20, 1 906497 22 2
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... with his interlocutor’s recording machine. Here the ‘posthumous conversations’, as Martin Chalmers has it, raise other questions. In one Hammerstein says: ‘If it had been up to me, I would already have fired on the Nazis in August 1932.’ What he actually said was: ‘If the National Socialists come to power legally, that is acceptable ...

Manchester’s Moment

Boyd Hilton, 20 August 1998

Free Trade and Liberal England, 1846-1946 
by Anthony Howe.
Oxford, 336 pp., £45, December 1997, 9780198201465
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The Origins of War Prevention: The British Peace Movement and International Relations, 1730-1854 
by Martin Ceadel.
Oxford, 587 pp., £55, December 1996, 0 19 822674 8
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... in English history. Both are highly informative, sophisticated, closely and subtly argued. Martin Ceadel’s begins in 1730 but is really about the first half of the 19th century, while Anthony Howe’s is really about the second half of that century although it continues until 1946. Ceadel’s is largely pioneering in its subject-matter, while Howe ...

Up from the Cellar

Nicholas Spice: The Interment of Elisabeth Fritzl, 5 June 2008

Greed 
by Elfriede Jelinek, translated by Martin Chalmers.
Serpent’s Tail, 340 pp., £7.99, July 2008, 978 1 84668 666 5
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... On 1 May, only five days after news broke that a 73-year-old man, Josef Fritzl, had immured one of his seven children, his 18-year-old daughter Elisabeth, in a specially fortified cellar under his house in the small town of Amstetten in Lower Austria, and kept her there for 24 years, abusing her persistently and fathering seven more children on her, Elfriede Jelinek, Austria’s Nobel Prize winning novelist, posted a short essay on her website under the title ‘Im Verlassenen ...

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