The Architects (European Classics)

The Architects (European Classics)

Stefan Heym

Language: English

Pages: 327

ISBN: 0810120445

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Written between 1963 and 1966, when its publication would have proved to be political dynamite-and its author's undoing-this novel of political intrigue and personal betrayal takes readers into the German Democratic Republic in the late 1950s, shortly after Khruschev's "secret speech" denouncing Stalin and his methods brought about a "thaw" in the Soviet bloc and, with it, the release of many victims of Stalinist brutality. Among these is Daniel, a Communist exile from Hitler who has been accused of treachery while in Moscow and who now returns to Germany after years of imprisonment. A brilliant architect, he is taken on by his former colleague, Arnold Sundstrom, who was in exile in Moscow as well but somehow fared better. He is now in fact the chief architect for the World Peace Road being built by the GDR. In Daniel, Arnold's young wife Julia finds the key that will unlock the dark secret of her husband's success and of her own parents' deaths in Moscow-and will undermine the very foundation on which she has built her life. A novel of exquisite suspense, romance, and drama, The Architects is also a window on a harrowing period of history that its author experienced firsthand-and that readers would do well to remember today.

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East German uprising on June 17, 1953, he took on a high-profile role as an advocate of socialism and a castigator of those who were failing it. His regular newspaper column, in which he boldly exposed inadequacies in local and national government, may have won him wide acclaim, but it also brought him into dis-favor. The knowledge that he was writing a novel about the June uprising gave the authorities even greater cause for concern. Heym completed the novel in English in 1958 and then set about

projected center of town, with the Government and Party Building as it would tower cloudward, its Gothic conception appealing to the very emotions in man that the creators of the ancient cathedrals aroused in their contemporaries. And after Wollin thus was prepared to see today’s effort in its great context, he was to be shown today’s achievement: World Peace Road, both the completed parts and the sections under construction. “The big tour, in other words,” said Hiller, and thought: Why Julia?

stood about, struggling with the problem of how to hold their plates and simultaneously cut the roast beef. Arnold took a roundabout lane to one of the center tables. Dispensing greetings and smiles, he threaded his way past Karl-August Mischnick, the poet laureate, who combined the pompousness of a public figure with the dirty skin and noisy manners of a bohemian; past the internationally recognized physicist Professor Louis Kerr, who, slightly besotted, was followed about by his sad-lipped,

luck. I escaped being drenched by squeezing through the busted door into the ground floor of the lighthouse—it was dark and dusty, but at least dry. Well, and here I am.” “Here you are,” he repeated, as if it were a new discovery. He felt flattered; there’s no one so low-down, he thought, that some other creature won’t run after him. “You’re in a mess, John, aren’t you?” she asked, finally. “I am,” he confirmed. She stopped and faced him, her body almost touching his. “Why don’t you come to

Sundstrom, framed in the doorway. In the background, visible over his shoulder, the face of Mrs. Schloth, like that on an old Dutch genre painting: half curious, half knowing. Then the face disappeared, the door closed. “Daddy—Daddy—Daddy. . . .” Julian was near sobs. Sundstrom lifted him up and hugged him. “Now, now”—his voice clogged up—“everything will be all right now, son.” He set the boy down but held on to him. “You look fine, Julia—sun-tanned, clear-eyed, a little tired perhaps. . . .”

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