Originally published in 1948, this powerful novel follows a U.S. Army infantry battalion in Europe through the last months of the Second World War—through the Battle of the Bulge, the Allied sweep across Germany, and the discovery of the Nazi death camps. Jacob Levy, a young soldier from St. Louis, has never given much thought to politics, world affairs, or his own Jewish heritage, but after the liberation of Dachau, he confronts the horror of the Holocaust and takes his own violent revenge. Jolted into a new understanding of humanity’s connectedness, he comes to terms with his own Jewish identity and grapples with questions of individual moral responsibility that are still contemporary fifty years later.
In her afterword, Martha Gellhorn traces the roots of the novel in her own experience as a war correspondent who first heard of the Nazi concentration camps during the Spanish Civil War and herself got to Dachau a week after American soldiers discovered the camp at the end of a village street.
Martha Gellhorn, the renowned war correspondent and peacetime journalist, is the author of The Face of War and The View from the Ground. Her much-admired fiction includes Weather in Africa and Honeyed Peace: Stories.
“Ten years of first-hand observation of the fighting fronts in Europe and Asia have gone into this taut, tender, tough book; and many a reader will find [Martha Gellhorn’s] artistic transformation of this material . . . absorbing.”—New York Times