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Ludwig's Room (German List)by Alois Hotschnig
Synopses & Reviews
When Kurt Weber inherits his great-uncles lakeside house, he finds traces of the dark secrets of his familys past. The early inhabitants of the house haunt his dreams nightly. And one day a ghostlike woman appears before him, hiding herself in a room that had been kept locked throughout his childhood. Inside, Kurt finds a hidden stash of photographs, letters, and documents. As he deciphers them, he gradually understands the degree of complicity in wartime horrors by his family and among his neighbors.
As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that the entire village adheres to an old and widely understood agreement not to expose the many members in the community who had been involved with a nearby prison camp during World War II. This knowledge wraps the entire community—those involved, and those who know of the involvement—in inescapable guilt for generations. Translated from the original German by Tess Lewis, Ludwigs Room is a story of love, betrayal, honor, and cowardice, as well as the burden of history and the moral demands of the present.
In Ludwigs Room, a village in Carinthia is bound by an unspoken agreement not to expose the guilt of several members in the community who had been associated with a nearby forced labour camp during the Second World War. This knowledge and the collusion it provokes poisons the community for generations. When Kurt Weber inherits his great-uncles lakeside house, he finds traces of dark secrets in his familys past. In a room that had been kept locked throughout his childhood, Kurt finds a hidden stash of photographs, letters and documents. As he deciphers them, he gradually understands the degree of passive and active complicity in wartime horrors within his family and among his neighbours. It is a story of love, betrayal, honour, and cowardice, of the burden of history and moral demands of the present.
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