The Shadows of Berlin is a small, slim book of short stories by one of the Soviet Union's most important Yiddish writers, Dovid Bergelson, who wrote several novellas, novels and essays before his execution by Stalin in 1952 as part of Stalin's purge of Yiddish culture.
The book is made up of six short stories, each one sort of dark and modernistic, covering the lives both secret and public of emigres in a colorless and flat Europe. Two stories that stand out for me are the first, "Two Murderers," about a man who comes to board with a woman whose dog has killed a child, and who is himself responsible for a pogrom in Ukraine, and "Among Refugees," about another young man who is in Berlin looking for an infamous pogromist who he believes is living nearby. The third, "Blindness," is about a man who finds a diary written by an unhappy wife as she relives a youthful infatuation; the reaction of her husband at the very end is chilling.
|Part of Russo-Biblio-Extravaganza|
FTC Disclosure: I did not receive this book for review.