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Hans Hellmut Kirst
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Classics > classic author rec: Hans Kirst

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message 1: by Feliks, Moderator (last edited May 05, 2015 01:29PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 467 comments Mod
Hans Hellmut Kirst

Many know him as the author of 'The Affairs of the Generals' from which the Pete O'Toole/Omar Sharif/Tom Courtenay movie was derived.

But this German author--who himself served in the Nazi Party--has many other more robust works. I'm becoming increasingly fascinated with his output. I'm adding several of these to my TBR list.

Just look at these:

The Lieutenant Must Be Mad (1950). A young German officer sabotages a Nazi garrison. Kirst's first book.

Kirst won an international reputation with the Gunner Asch series ('The Revolt of Gunner Asch' (1955), 'Forward, Gunner Asch!' (1956), 'The Return of Gunner Asch' (1957), 'What Became of Gunner Asch' (1964), and 'Party Games' (1980).

A satire about a German army private who manages to buck the system; the saga follows the career of Asch, 'a common man in an impossible situation', from the years before World War II, to the Eastern Front, and finally into the world of post-war Germany.

Officer Factory (1962) - about the investigation into the death of a training officer in an Officer School near war's end.
'Last Stop, Camp 7' (1968) - the story of 48 hours in an internment camp for former Nazis
'The Wolves' (1969) - a tale of crafty resistance in a German village
'The Nights of the Long Knives' (1976) - about a fictitious 6-man squad of SS hit men.

All of these novels featured Kirst's unique blend of deadpan humor and devastating satire, with leading characters often shown positioning themselves as outspoken, ardent Nazis during the Third Reich era before effortlessly flipping to become equally ardent in their claims to have been anti-Nazi and 100% pro-democracy or pro-communist, whichever was to their advantage, after the tide turned.

Kirst also wrote about the July 1944 attempt to assassinate Hitler in 'Aufstand der Soldaten' (1965), translated into English as 'Soldiers' Revolt'.

Kirst's non-World War II themed novels include 'The Seventh Day' (1957), a nuclear holocaust story that received worldwide acclaim and was dubbed 'so convincing, that it doesn't seem like fiction at all'.

[Source for all the above: Wikipedia]

message 2: by Doubledf99.99 (new)

Doubledf99.99 | 175 comments I do believe the movie with O'Toole and Sharif was "The Night of the Generals, a very good book and movie.

The Night of the Generals
The Night of the Generals by Hans Hellmut Kirst

message 3: by Feliks, Moderator (last edited May 11, 2015 02:24PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 467 comments Mod
That's true. I figured I didn't have to spell it out, though. (At the time I wrote the post, that is). Thx

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