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Danita L (ladygoshawke) | 658 comments Please add the following description to both editions:

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Gheorghiu's best-known book depicts the plight of a young Romanian farmhand, Johann Moritz, under German, Soviet and American occupation of Central Europe.

From his farm and life, Johann is suddenly ordered to a Jewish labor camp by local police. At first, he is tagged as "Jacob Moritz", a Jew. Then, he and fellow Jewish prisoners escape to Hungary where he is interned as a citizen of an enemy country. The Hungarian government sends its foreign residents as Hungarian voluntary workers to Nazi Germany.

Later, "Ianos Moritz" is ‘rescued’ by a Nazi officer who determines he is a perfect Aryan specimen and forces him into service in the Waffen SS as a model for German propaganda. Imprisoned after the war, he is severely beaten by his Russian captors, then put on trial by Allied forces because of his work for the Nazis. In all, over thirteen years, he is confined in more than one hundred camps.

Meanwhile, Trajan, son of the priest Koruga who employed Moritz in their Romanian village, is a famous novelist and minor diplomat whose first internment comes when he is picked up as an enemy alien by the Yugoslavs.

Once imprisoned, both Johann and Trajan begin odysseys of torture and despair. They are deeply unsettled because of what they see as the machinism and inhumanity of the ‘Western technical society’.

This is Gheorghiu's first novel, a tragic but beautiful story, based on his own experiences in Romania during the second world war. It is an extraordinary Romanian novel about man's inhumanity to man - serious, compelling and full of philosophical tension.

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message 2: by lethe (new)

lethe | 13747 comments Added description to English edition.

Not added to the other edition, because that one is Portuguese.

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