Tag: cultural history

The Castle of Writers
Das Schloss der Schriftsteller

C.H.Beck
February 2023 / 304pp
Non-Fiction

The English language translation rights to the book have sold.

This page will be updated once an English language translation is published.

review

A stunning account of the first Nuremberg Trial, Das Schloss der Schriftsteller takes an unusual approach to a subject already well covered in literature. Writer and literary agent Uwe Neumahr recounts the events of 1946 through the lens of journalists billeted in the Faber-Castell palace, from which they covered the historic trial for global news outlets.

A well-researched history written for a general audience, Das Schloss der Schriftseller is structured as a series of vignettes. Each centres on one famous figure from journalism or politics, some of whom – Rebecca West, Erika Mann, John dos Passos – will be better known than others. In the course of his research, Neumahr has unearthed a number of fascinating snippets, such as Rebecca West’s affair with one of the judges, and peppers his account with colourful anecdotes that bring the time and place to life. Each chapter holds a moment of tension for its protagonist, giving the individual vignettes their own pleasing story arcs.

As well as describing the events of Nuremberg, Neumahr situates his narrative within the broader political and historical context, showing how the trial forced many people to confront their personal relationship with Germany and its population. For some, such as Erika Mann and William L. Shirer, this was a challenging and painful experience. Neumahr also shows us the paths of well-known political figures (notably Willy Brandt and Markus Wolf) crossing in Nuremberg long before they assumed their central roles in post-war Germany.

Overall, the range of characters is fantastically diverse, with the opening section (an introductory account of the trials, which will be a particular boon for any readers unfamiliar with the history of Nuremberg) centring on an American officer who functioned as a go-between for the journalists and trial administrator, Ernest Cecil Deane.

With its original human angle on a much-covered period of history, meticulous research and keen eye for detail, Das Schloss der Schriftsteller is a highly engaging crowd biography that will appeal to readers of Philippe Sands and Harald Jähner. 

Rights sold: Spain, Taurus/Penguin Random House; UK/English, Pushkin Press; Hungary, Corvina Kiadó, Holland, Querido; Italy, Marsilio.

Read more on the publisher’s website here: https://www.chbeck.de/neumahr-schloss-weltliteraten/product/33759464

press quotes

A superbly written book packed with new insights on a topic we probably all feel we know a lot about. A page-turner which has you reading at pace to get to the next revelatory anecdote.

John Owen, NBG reader

One of the strengths of Neumahr’s book is the disproportionately great focus on journalists. Because there were so few of them, the circumstances of their lives were all the more interesting and say a great deal about the virile atmosphere of a time still very much stamped by conflict.

Andreas Platthaus, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Uwe Neumahr’s precise and incredibly interesting book raises questions about wrongdoing, responsibility and the (im)possibilities of description. In the context of today’s wars of invasion, this could hardly be more topical.

 

Marko Martin, Die WELT

about the author

© Christoph Mukherjee

Uwe Neumahr is an author and literary agent who holds a PhD in Romance and German studies. His previous books have been biographies of historical figures from the Renaissance and Early Modern periods, including Miguel de Cervantes: Ein wildes Leben (2015).

rights information

Susanne Simor

Foreign Rights Director | Verlag C.H.Beck

susanne.simor@beck.de

translation assistance

The English language translation rights to the book have sold.

This page will be updated once an English language translation is published.

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