“The day after visiting them we received a card in which the old man thanked me for the Fontane book I’d bought in an antiques shop and given him the day before, in a perhaps antiquated gesture that I nonetheless found particularly moving (or perhaps it was its antiquated nature precisely that moved me). Shortly after we’d said goodbye to them at the end of what for me had been one of the best afternoons to date of my stay in Germany, my girlfriend told me a story about her grandfather: he’d been drafted during the war; he had fought on the Eastern front and on the Western, involuntarily moving up in the army ranks, due to the desertion or death of his superiors; in France, in the face of the Allies’ advance, he’d surrendered himself after forcing a subordinate to switch his regular soldier’s uniform for his officer’s one; the subordinate had been killed by firing squad, he had escaped with his life.” [Sigue leyendo]

The Massachusetts Review, julio de 2020.