The Karnau Tapes by Marcel Beyer

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A powerful and disturbing novel of the Nazi era and its legacy by the winner of Germany’s Ernst Willner Prize. During the final days of the Reich, sound engineer Herman Karnau is brought to Hitler’s bunker to record the Fuhrer’s last utterances. There he finds young Helga Goebbels and her siblings, children of Hitler’s propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, awaiting a terrible fate. Translated by John Brownjohn.

About Marcel Beyer

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MARCEL BEYER was born and raised in Cologne. The author of several novels and collections of poems, he has received numerous awards and was named one of the best young novelists in the world by the New Yorker. He lives in Dresden. John Brownjohn is a prize-winning translator and works with Roman Polanski.
Published June 30, 1997 by Secker & Warburg. 320 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction, War. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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More improbably, Karnau is engaged to tend the five young children of a prominent national figure (identifiable as Joseph Goebbels) whose wife is giving birth again, during which time Karnau befriends the eldest child (and precocious surrogate mother to her younger siblings), eight-year-old Helga...

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Publishers Weekly

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The events of this bleak novel of WWII are seen through the eyes of two Germans: Herr Karnau, a soft-spoken, 30-ish sound technician, and Helga, an eight-year-old in a privileged but chaotic household who must guide her five younger siblings through the war without much help from her parents.

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