Death In Rome
Translated by Michael Hofmann
In Rome, four members of a German family are reunited by chance. A young composer, Siegfried; his estranged father, Freidrich, who held office under the Nazis and is once more making his way in public life, this time as a democratically elected burgomeister; Siegfried’s uncle, Judejahn, an unrepentant former SS general; and Judejahn’s renegade son, Adolf, who is preparing himself for the Catholic priesthood. The four men recount their separate experiences in music, bureaucracy, arms and religion – and, taken together, they personify the German soul. Death in Rome is a history book, a family book, a book about the battle over who gets to represent the authentic face of post-war Germany. It is a devastating and brilliant evocation of an entire nation.