I Still Have A Suitcase in Berlin

I Still Have A Suitcase in Berlin

A Novel

Book - 2008
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A delicately nuanced and profoundly resonant novel about a young Canadian caught up in the heart of Germany's mid-century rise to nationalism, war and genocide. In 1932, Michael Renner arrives in Berlin to care for his elderly grandmother. Entranced by a city that is surging in spirit, buoyed after years of depression by the rising tide of National Socialism, Michael never goes home. He marries and becomes a father, even works for his father-in-law, auctioning the property of persecuted Jews. While his family and friends reassure Michael that the cruelties of nationalization are a necessity, he strays. Berlin's legendary sexual underworld proves too irresistible an intrigue and solace-as does his unrequited love for a promiscuous and difficult little man he meets in those mad cabarets, whose masochistic theatre can only mimic the spiralling violence on the streets above. I Still Have a Suitcase in Berlin is a deceptively subtle story about the way ordinary people slip naively into horror, and how in times of moral chaos, disgrace might be the only place a man of conscience can live with himself.
Publisher: Toronto : Random House Canada, 2008.
ISBN: 9780679313410
Branch Call Number: MAL
Characteristics: 319 pages ; 22 cm

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Basileus
Sep 30, 2011

One of the few Holocaust books that tells the story of the gay men who were also sent to the camps. In this case, it is Canadian Michael Renner, in Berlin to care for an ailing family member. He becomes involved in the decadance of Weimar Berlin, but slowly and surely, the Nazi's start infecting the lives of everyone. Even Michael himself gets caught up in it actually working for the Nazi's, all the while leading a secret life as a gay man. He gets caught by the Nazi's eventually, and his life is never the same again, either mentally or physically. A great book, that at times was hard to read just because of the horror that was being presented.

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