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A rediscovered classic, originally published in 1938 -- and now an international bestseller. Address Unknown When it first appeared in Story magazine in 1938, Address Unknown became an immediate social phenomenon and literary sensation. Published in book form a year later and banned in Nazi Germany, it garnered high praise in the United States and much of Europe. A series of A rediscovered classic, originally published in 1938 -- and now an international bestseller. Address Unknown When it first appeared in Story magazine in 1938, Address Unknown became an immediate social phenomenon and literary sensation. Published in book form a year later and banned in Nazi Germany, it garnered high praise in the United States and much of Europe. A series of fictional letters between a Jewish art dealer living in San Francisco and his former business partner, who has returned to Germany, Address Unknown is a haunting tale of enormous and enduring impact.


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A rediscovered classic, originally published in 1938 -- and now an international bestseller. Address Unknown When it first appeared in Story magazine in 1938, Address Unknown became an immediate social phenomenon and literary sensation. Published in book form a year later and banned in Nazi Germany, it garnered high praise in the United States and much of Europe. A series of A rediscovered classic, originally published in 1938 -- and now an international bestseller. Address Unknown When it first appeared in Story magazine in 1938, Address Unknown became an immediate social phenomenon and literary sensation. Published in book form a year later and banned in Nazi Germany, it garnered high praise in the United States and much of Europe. A series of fictional letters between a Jewish art dealer living in San Francisco and his former business partner, who has returned to Germany, Address Unknown is a haunting tale of enormous and enduring impact.

30 review for Inconnu a cette adresse Audiobook PACK [Book + 1 CD]

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ilse (on Semi-Hiatus)

    Reading this article in The Guardian last week, which praises Address unknown as an anti-Nazi-novel that saw into the future, I admit I am frightened that the author is right concluding that the novel’s prescience is not confined to its time and saw into our own future too. In hindsight, it is this chilling perspective which makes the novel even more worth reading at present. As originally published in 1938, this is a striking document as Kathrine Kressmann Taylor wrote on ordinary, liberal-mind Reading this article in The Guardian last week, which praises Address unknown as an anti-Nazi-novel that saw into the future, I admit I am frightened that the author is right concluding that the novel’s prescience is not confined to its time and saw into our own future too. In hindsight, it is this chilling perspective which makes the novel even more worth reading at present. As originally published in 1938, this is a striking document as Kathrine Kressmann Taylor wrote on ordinary, liberal-minded and civilised people sliding into anti-Semitic barbarism even before the wave of violent pogroms which took place on November 9 and 10, 1938, known as Kristallnacht. According to her son’s foreword, the story is purportedly based on Kressmann’s bewilderment at the change of mind and heart of some American-German friends who had returned from Germany and since had disavowed former Jewish friends. As she worried about what she felt as the lack of awareness, care and insight in the US on the nature of Nazism, her journalistic instincts were triggered and her research on the regime resulted in this (fictional) account. Address unknown consists of the (fictional) correspondence between two Germans who run an art gallery in California and start to write letters when Martin Schulse in 1932 returns to Germany with his family while his Jewish friend and business partner Max Eisenstein stays in San Francisco. From the letters unfolds a powerful and finely written short story documenting the disintegration of their longstanding friendship by the slithering down from liberalism into opportunism, ideological blinding and cowardice, ending up in cruelty and bitter, cold-blooded revenge. The brevity of the format – we get to read 19 short letters stretching from November 1932 to March 1934 – tells not to expect so much as a subtle portrayal of the characters (Martin’s, who next to the other abject opinions he will ventilate once settled in Germany, earlier on displays a vision on women as baby machines, might come across as rather caricatural), but the brutal denouement is nonetheless poignant and gut-punching. Coincidentally this story turned out a timely tandem read with a recent thought-provoking essay De eerste boze burger by the Dutch writer Arnon Grunberg, a slightly philosophical pamphlet on migration and xenophobia which deals with certain psychological mechanisms at play – one of his central theses that the fear of the ‘newcomer’ in society parallels the anxiety of a jealous lover. He equals one’s love for one’s country with the pursuit of paradise, the pursuit of ‘the one’ not lover but place where one can live, which one can call home and call its own– so it belongs to one exclusively, like some people feel the need to consider their lover exclusively theirs – turning the newcomer into a threat and a rival and so spurring sentiments in the vein of one’s land, like one’s lover, shouldn’t be welcoming another lover, making one feel replaceable (according to Grunberg this fear of being replaced is a deeply embedded fear, referring to the chanting in Charlottesville in 2017 ‘Jews will not replace us’). Reading this essay written by an author having grown up in a family of Jewish immigrants, originally from Germany (his mother was a survivor of Auschwitz) for me made the reflections of Martin Schulse on the rise to power of Hitler and his views on the Jews which tune slowly to the regime’s only more haunting and frighteningly relevant nowadays. Although I am aware comparisons of current times and mores with the 1930s are not to be made heedlessly (and in the small region where I happen to live seem to have become almost taboo since the rise to power of the Nationalists), this cynic tale could function as a cautionary read for anyone inclined to minimalize or gloss over the weight of words as being merely words when confronted with deliberately provocative tough statements of populist political leaders for instance taunting the ‘Gutmenschen’ offering shelter to homeless refugees in winter or sneering about the victims’ own responsibility when a child of two accompanying her migrant parents has been killed by a police bullet (startling assertions chilling me to the bone). (Paintings by Sylvie Coupé Thouron)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jaline

    Words have power. We readers know that as we find ourselves moved to tears, beside ourselves with outrage, or smiling at the foibles of our fellow humans – and ourselves. Spoken words have power, too. Charismatic leaders and fanatic leaders know this, and know exactly how to put their words across to increase their own power. Generating and maintaining fear is one way to do it; taking credit for improvements that are actually the result of a previous leader’s efforts is common; and so is scapegoa Words have power. We readers know that as we find ourselves moved to tears, beside ourselves with outrage, or smiling at the foibles of our fellow humans – and ourselves. Spoken words have power, too. Charismatic leaders and fanatic leaders know this, and know exactly how to put their words across to increase their own power. Generating and maintaining fear is one way to do it; taking credit for improvements that are actually the result of a previous leader’s efforts is common; and so is scapegoating. Scapegoating is probably the most insidious and destructive use of words ever. Take a problem that you know concerns the largest number of people, find a scapegoat group of people, and in speech after speech, in written words and spoken words, on film or any media available, and the weak and ignorant and fearful masses will follow this leader into the maw of hell. Does any of this sound familiar? It should. History tells us these are the tactics Adolf Hitler used to justify mass genocide – “intentional action to destroy a people in whole or in part” according to Wikipedia. Destroying people either physically and/or in their souls. This little book was published in the United States in 1938 and became a classic in the author’s own lifetime. Its popularity was instant and far-reaching for the time, yet it wasn’t until many decades later that it reached continental Europe. Since its initial publication it has surged into popularity again and again because of the truths it bears – and the warnings. World War II has been over for more than 70 years. When the war ended, everyone everywhere said, “Never again.” Did we mean it or are they just more words?

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mutasim Billah (semi-hiatus)

    "A short time before the war, some cultivated, intellectual, warmhearted German friends of mine returned to Germany after living in the United States. In a very short time they turned into sworn Nazis. They refused to listen to the slightest criticism about Hitler. During a return visit to California, they met an old, dear friend of theirs on the street who had been very close to them and who was a Jew. They did not speak to him. They turned their backs on him when he held his hands out to em "A short time before the war, some cultivated, intellectual, warmhearted German friends of mine returned to Germany after living in the United States. In a very short time they turned into sworn Nazis. They refused to listen to the slightest criticism about Hitler. During a return visit to California, they met an old, dear friend of theirs on the street who had been very close to them and who was a Jew. They did not speak to him. They turned their backs on him when he held his hands out to embrace them. How can such a thing happen? I wondered. What changed their hearts so? What steps brought them to such cruelty?         These questions haunted me very much and I could not forget them. It was hard to believe that these people whom I knew and respected had fallen victim to the Nazi poison. I began researching Hitler and reading his speeches and the writings of his advisors. What I discovered was terrifying. What worried me most was that no one in America was aware of what was happening in Germany and they also did not care. In 1938, the isolationist movement in America was strong; the politicians said that affairs in Europe were none of our business and that Germany was fine. Even Charles Lindbergh came back from Germany saying how wonderful the people were. But some students who had returned from studying in Germany told the truth about the Nazi atrocities. When their fraternity brothers thought it would be fun to send them letters making fun of Hitler, they wrote back and said, “Stop it. We’re in danger. These people don’t fool around. You could murder one of these Nazis by writing letters to him.”" That is how Kathrine Kressmann Taylor explained the inspiration behind Address Unknown, now regarded as one of the seminal works of anti-Nazi literature. Originally published in 1938, the short story is written in the form of an exchange of letters at the height of the rise of Nazism in Germany, between two business partners and friends. Martin is a gentile who has recently returned to Germany and becomes indoctrinated into Nazi ideology. Max is a Jew who stayed back in America to continue the business. "Does the surgeon spare the cancer because he must cut to remove it? We are cruel. Of course we are cruel." The story explores themes of bigotry and fascism and how the tables could be so easily turned on people who live by fear-mongering by vilifying others. The story uses the most amazing concept: using a letter as a weapon of vengeance. I believe this book is surprisingly relevant in this era of liberalism when fascist ideals are again on the rise and being easily circulated and accepted by the masses. It is unfortunate that over 80 years after its publication, the underlying premise still holds true and relevant.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Aqsa (On Hiatus)

    Read for March Reading Sprint-2019 in Buddy Reads. Believe me, you do not want to miss this book. It’s just 40 pages long and just read it. “This modern story is perfection itself. It is the most effective indictment of Nazism to appear in fiction.” ──The New York Times Book Review This is written in the form of letters (which are easy to get into) between a Jew (Max) living in America and his best friend and partner (Martin) who has returned to Germany. You see how Nazi poison got hold of Martin an Read for March Reading Sprint-2019 in Buddy Reads. Believe me, you do not want to miss this book. It’s just 40 pages long and just read it. “This modern story is perfection itself. It is the most effective indictment of Nazism to appear in fiction.” ──The New York Times Book Review This is written in the form of letters (which are easy to get into) between a Jew (Max) living in America and his best friend and partner (Martin) who has returned to Germany. You see how Nazi poison got hold of Martin and how it affected their friendship and his own idea of a Nation. I recommend reading the Afterword at the end. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! RTC A powerful review from Jaline: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1 My Thoughts as I Read: November 12, 1932 (view spoiler)[It was easy to get into because I just read another book written in the same way and with hints of WW2. I feel like this is something good. I’m dreading how this conversation would be like by the end. War is coming back. (hide spoiler)] December 10, 1932 (view spoiler)[Um… Okay. It’s gripping, isn’t it? I really can’t find much to say other than read ahead. (hide spoiler)] January 21, 1933 (view spoiler)[Oh Hitler. I’m loving this book. Waiting for a blow. (hide spoiler)] March 25, 1933 (view spoiler)[Martin is right. I loved his questions. (hide spoiler)] May 18, 1933 (view spoiler)[Holding m breath. (hide spoiler)] July 9, 1933 (view spoiler)[Damn. I did not expect this. Gentle Leader? Seriously? God. It’s unnerving how Hitler corrupted the minds. (hide spoiler)] August 1, 1933 (view spoiler)[I think he’s gonna be disappointed. Hitler hit at the right spot, but we cannot blame Hitler alone. (hide spoiler)] August 18, 1933 (view spoiler)[I’m really mad right now. Human life comes first. (hide spoiler)] September 5, 1933 (view spoiler)[Oh no. Damn. I don’t think he’ll reply. (hide spoiler)] November 5, 1933 (view spoiler)[Could it be that Martin himself had her caught? Am I thinking too much? (hide spoiler)] November 23, 1933 (view spoiler)[It’s amazing how quick the friendship died. (hide spoiler)] December 8, 1933 (view spoiler)[Oh poor girl, she actually smiled? Oh, it hurts. It must have been dangerous for Martin but he just shut it on her face. (hide spoiler)] MUNICH JANUARY 2 1934 (view spoiler)[Where did this one come from? Details of account in America? Who is Einstein? (hide spoiler)] January 3, 1934 and January 17, 1934 (view spoiler)[Glad Max didn’t write again. Martin didn’t even try. (hide spoiler)] January 29, 1934 (view spoiler)[What reunion? Just something stupid? (hide spoiler)] February 12, 1934 (view spoiler)[Hmph, mercy? Did Max do it to have Martin caught? Really? (hide spoiler)] Afterword: (view spoiler)[Letters as weapon, wow. This was enlightening. I wanna read about Hitler and his power of persuasion now. (hide spoiler)]

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dem

    Address Unknown by Kressman Taylor is an amazing little book. Shot and west but boy does it pack a punch. The narrative consists of a series of letters exchanged between Max, a Jewish man living in California, and Martin, his German business partner and close family friend, recently returned to Germany; and this correspondence takes place shortly before Hitler takes power. This tiny book (54 pages) really made a big impression on me and it only took about 40 minutes to read it. A book where not Address Unknown by Kressman Taylor is an amazing little book. Shot and west but boy does it pack a punch. The narrative consists of a series of letters exchanged between Max, a Jewish man living in California, and Martin, his German business partner and close family friend, recently returned to Germany; and this correspondence takes place shortly before Hitler takes power. This tiny book (54 pages) really made a big impression on me and it only took about 40 minutes to read it. A book where not a word is wasted and each sentence is carefully thought out. It's the sort of book that makes you think and stays with you long after you have finished reading it. In my opinion- THIS IS THE PERFECT SHORT STORY!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Flannery

    I am updating this because it referenced a review that is no longer available on GR. (the reader removed her profile a few years back) Anyway, I was browsing Goodreads back in 2012 and saw a review for this book from someone with amazing taste in books. I'd never heard of the book before but she rarely gave books five stars so I was intrigued. I immediately put it on hold at my library and read it as soon as I got home. I was skeptical about the claims made about the book, including the front co I am updating this because it referenced a review that is no longer available on GR. (the reader removed her profile a few years back) Anyway, I was browsing Goodreads back in 2012 and saw a review for this book from someone with amazing taste in books. I'd never heard of the book before but she rarely gave books five stars so I was intrigued. I immediately put it on hold at my library and read it as soon as I got home. I was skeptical about the claims made about the book, including the front cover quote from the New York Times: "This modern story is perfection itself. It is the most effective indictment of Nazism to appear in fiction." Address Unknown was first published in 1938 by Kathrine Kressmann Taylor. She wrote as Kressmann Taylor at the suggestion of her publisher, who thought the topic too intense to publish under a female name. Story magazine's entire printing that contained the 54-page short story sold out quickly. Several accounts I've read online argue that the book came back into the public light in 1999 when a French publisher put out a French translation which sold 600,000 copies (BBC), but it's still pretty unknown overall. I honestly cannot believe that this book isn't used in US schools and that I somehow made it 28 years without ever hearing one word about it. When asked why she wrote this book, Kressmann Taylor tells a firsthand story in the foreword about German friends of hers who'd lived in the US but were only visiting after moving back to Nazi Germany. They encountered a Jewish man, with whom they'd been intimate friends, and turned their back to his offered embrace and would not speak to him. She said that after seeing this she could not help but wonder how seemingly normal people could become so warped and that she "began researching Hitler and reading his speeches and the writings of his advisors. What I discovered was terrifying. What worried me most was that no one in America was aware of what was happening in Germany and they also did not care." (foreword) Look how small this book is: Barely bigger than a postcard yet it packs more of a punch than most books three, four, even five times its length. The story, about which I will speak very little because this is a book that would absolutely be ruined by spoilers, is that of two friends, one Jewish, one German. Address Unknown is a series of fictional letters between Max Eisenstein, a San Francisco art gallery owner and his German business partner, Martin Schulse, written after Schulse moves with his family back to Germany in the early 1930s. Epistolary format in this particular case created so much unease for me as I kept wondering what was going on for these people during all of the interim periods between letters. It also reminded me how powerful words can be, though it sounds absolutely cliche to say so, and how frustrating it can be when you are trying to get the full story from someone and your pleas are chained to a format which allows for pondering, revisions, and omissions with basically no guarantee of a satisfactory answer. The ending took me by surprise and that's all I'll say about that--the story went somewhere I had no idea it was going to go and I had to sit back and wonder whether what I was feeling was valid or disgusting. How often does that happen? If you are looking for a book that is short, shocking and that you will want to get everyone around you to read, here it is. Go get it. I found out after reading about Kathrine Kressmann Taylor online that there was a movie made in 1944 and the ending is changed up a bit. I can't wait to see this film. There was also a dramatization done by the BBC for their Afternoon Drama series. I recommend that everyone read this. It will take you about half an hour. Come back and tell me what you think of it. I hope you can find a copy. I know I'm buying one. Read this and other reviews at The Readventurer.

  7. 4 out of 5

    PattyMacDotComma

    5★ “In 1939, Simon & Schuster brought out ‘Address Unknown’ as a book and sold fifty thousand copies — a huge number in those years. A quote from The New York Times Book Review stated: This modern story is perfection itself. It is the most effective indictment of Nazism to appear in fiction.” (From the foreword) At the end of 1938, this was first published in “Story”, a literary magazine, and the issue sold out in ten days. Today, we’d say it went viral. It’s easy to see why, and also why they to 5★ “In 1939, Simon & Schuster brought out ‘Address Unknown’ as a book and sold fifty thousand copies — a huge number in those years. A quote from The New York Times Book Review stated: This modern story is perfection itself. It is the most effective indictment of Nazism to appear in fiction.” (From the foreword) At the end of 1938, this was first published in “Story”, a literary magazine, and the issue sold out in ten days. Today, we’d say it went viral. It’s easy to see why, and also why they took the opportunity to turn it into a small book. It’s November, 1932. Two men, Martin and Max, have been close friends and business partners for years, but Martin thinks it’s time to take his young sons back to Germany to grow up. They write to each other regularly, glad that The War (WWI) is behind them. Max is still running their art gallery in San Francisco and keeps Martin updated on the business and customers when he forwards him his share of the income. Martin writes that he and Elsa are treated like millionaires in war-ravaged Germany, and they’ve been able to buy a magnificent home on a large estate, so they are living it up, with servants, ponies for the children, and another baby on the way. This takes place as Hitler is coming to power, capturing the imagination of the Germans who were left so devastated after the Great War. “Elsa's family do not find things so easy now. The brothers are in the professions and, while much respected, must live together in one house. To the family we seem American millionaires and while we are far from that yet our American income places us among the wealthy here. The better foods are high in price and there is much political unrest. . . ” Their correspondence continues until March 1934. Another writer might have needed a novel, but this is why I love a good short story. It’s all here. The men, the personalities, the changing mood of the times. But I guess it was too good to pass up. It has been made into a radio play, a stage play, and a film, which I’m sure are equally moving, but this will do me just fine. Here’s a link to a PDF of the story which I found in the Wikipedia article about it, but don’t look for the article until you’ve read the story! It’s all spoilers, and the real story is so much better. http://www.acobas.net/teaching/textbo...

  8. 5 out of 5

    JimZ

    5 stars. What a book. Correspondence between two men who had had an art gallery in San Francisco in the early 1930s, a Jewish man named Max Eisenstein and a German, Martin Schulse. Martin moves back to Germany with his wife and two sons, and the book is a set of letters that go back and forth between the two starting on November 12, 1932 and the last letter to Schulse coming back to Eisenstein with Address Unknown stamped on it from Germany on March 3, 1934. Mr. Schulse had never received it, fo 5 stars. What a book. Correspondence between two men who had had an art gallery in San Francisco in the early 1930s, a Jewish man named Max Eisenstein and a German, Martin Schulse. Martin moves back to Germany with his wife and two sons, and the book is a set of letters that go back and forth between the two starting on November 12, 1932 and the last letter to Schulse coming back to Eisenstein with Address Unknown stamped on it from Germany on March 3, 1934. Mr. Schulse had never received it, for reasons which are evident from reading the preceding letters between the two men. The (fictional) letters describe Adolph Hitler’s early rise to power and Schulse’s reaction to it, and Eisenstein’s reaction to it, and how it impacts on the friendship of the two men. The letters describe how Schulse treats Eisenstein’s sister, Griselle, in 1933, when she desperately needs his help - he had had an affair with her several years earlier. Through the letters we learn how his decision regarding whether to help Griselle influences how Eisenstein corresponds to him thereafter. The book seems timely to me, given that in the US as well as in other countries there are white nationalists who hate other people not like them, and still admire and respect Adolph Hitler. We can’t forget the Holocaust — Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it (George Santayana, 1905). The edition of the book I had was a 1995 reprint (A Story Press Endangered Classic) of the original version that had been published in 1938 in the September-October issue of the periodical, Story, and then published in book form by Simon & Schuster in 1939. The book can easily be read in one sitting. I had never heard of this book until I heard about it on Goodreads a couple of months ago. Once again why I am indebted to this website. Review: https://www.theguardian.com/books/201... This is a very interesting link, Guide to the Kathrine Kressmann Taylor (Rood) papers, Gettysburg College Musselman Library (July 2007), and contains a biography of the author (Kathrine Kressman Taylor was only one of the first two women granted tenure by Gettysburg College in 1954): https://www.gettysburg.edu/special-co... From the link above: “Address Unknown” appeared under the literary pseudonym, Kressmann Taylor since, at the time, both her husband and her editor, Whit Burnett, advised that the story was “too strong to appear under the name of a woman.” Address Unknown won immediate acclaim and popularity in this country as one of the first published works to condemn Nazism.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ingrid

    5 stars and more if I could give them. This was so cleverly written! So much is said in a few pages. I'm impressed. It's a correspondence between a Jewish American and his former business partner who has returned to Germany. In the letters you read how the business partner turns to Nazism.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    Follow the banality of evil through this exchange of letters...read between the lines and find one of the best horror stories ever.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jill Hutchinson

    A GR buddy just read this book and it moved me to read it again since it overwhelmed me the first time. I stand by my original review from 2012 ______________________ This is an amazing and disturbing little book....only 64 pages long, it packs a punch in every page. First published in 1938 and banned in Nazi Germany when released, it is comprised of letters between two friends. One is a Jewish man living in the US and the other is his Gentile partner in their art gallery who has, with his family, A GR buddy just read this book and it moved me to read it again since it overwhelmed me the first time. I stand by my original review from 2012 ______________________ This is an amazing and disturbing little book....only 64 pages long, it packs a punch in every page. First published in 1938 and banned in Nazi Germany when released, it is comprised of letters between two friends. One is a Jewish man living in the US and the other is his Gentile partner in their art gallery who has, with his family, returned home to Germany just as Hitler is coming to power. As the book progresses, the change in the tone and content of the letters will chill your soul and the ending will leave you stunned. I highly recommend it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Meredith Holley

    One of my supervising attorneys is 88 years old. He basically helped invent tort law in Oregon and has been influential in anything you can name. The governor comes by to get his opinion on judicial appointments and whatnot, and in his prime, he was called "the prince of torts." In my first week of working for him, he called me into his office. When he was 14 years old, he told me, the young men of military age had all gone off to war. This left the boys like him and the old men to work in the l One of my supervising attorneys is 88 years old. He basically helped invent tort law in Oregon and has been influential in anything you can name. The governor comes by to get his opinion on judicial appointments and whatnot, and in his prime, he was called "the prince of torts." In my first week of working for him, he called me into his office. When he was 14 years old, he told me, the young men of military age had all gone off to war. This left the boys like him and the old men to work in the logging jobs in Eugene. So, he went to work. "I'll never forget," he said, "Those old men who knew so well what they were doing that they could spot any problem with my work immediately. They would just look at me until I went over all of my work and figured out what was wrong." As he told the story he teared up, remembering people who had long passed from his life. It wasn't until the next day that I realized he was talking about me. He was talking about how I am the young newbie in our office and he is the old person who can look at a job and know exactly what's wrong. About a year later, he gave me this book. I had told him how I've had difficulty sitting down and reading a book since law school, and how I often listen to audio books while I'm walking instead. He started giving me short books for my short attention span. This is probably the smartest book about revenge and censorship I've ever read. Anything else I tell you will be a spoiler, so just go read it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jaksen

    Powerful short story. Read it in half an hour, then went back to re-read most of it. Elegantly done as a series of short letters with a brutal twist - for both writers. It's the story of two friends in America, one Jewish, one German, who own a gallery together. When the German returns home in 1933 things happen, relationships alter, and history overlays and rewrites friendships in unthinkable ways. When I questioned my mother about this time period - she was born in 1923 - she said they didn't t Powerful short story. Read it in half an hour, then went back to re-read most of it. Elegantly done as a series of short letters with a brutal twist - for both writers. It's the story of two friends in America, one Jewish, one German, who own a gallery together. When the German returns home in 1933 things happen, relationships alter, and history overlays and rewrites friendships in unthinkable ways. When I questioned my mother about this time period - she was born in 1923 - she said they didn't think much about events overseas. The 1930's were a difficult time for her family - father out of work, then finding it with the WPA, having to move to where the (government) jobs were, etc. Then, at the start of the war, honest-to-God shock and surprise, as in, where did all this come from? In other words, many working class Americans were busy trying to survive... Later, it all changed. Imagine living in that time, all your information from newspapers, magazines, newsreels at the movies, or maybe talking to someone who'd 'been over there.' My mother's paternal grandmother was from Germany. My mother said this grandmother kept quiet about her background, yet wrote for the local newspaper using the name 'Edelweiss.' I've digressed too much, but when I read a period piece with such a timeless, important message such as this short book, I want to know where my family was then, what were they doing, what were they thinking. I do know my own grandmother owned this little book, but was she the only one who read it? (She had a huge and eclectic reading library - modern novels, classics, histories and science.) Anyhow, a book worth owning and re-reading again and again.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    Found this little book and was absolutely astonished at how much it accomplished in so few pages. Friends and partners, one Jewish, one German and the letters they sent back and forth from Germany to the United States, show the rise of Hitler and the changing viewpoints of the Germans as they came to accept them as their leader and hope for the future. Loved the way revenge was taken at the end of the book. Heartfelt and poignant.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Vegan

    The edition I read has a wonderfully informative foreword by the author’s son. The foreword does give some information that gave me a clue as to what was coming in the story, but it didn’t really contain any spoilers. A few of my Goodreads’ friends have read this story recently and their reviews and comments definitely piqued me interest. So, wow! This story was published first in 1938, and I can see why it’s a classic. I can’t remember the last time I so enjoyed a story, in this case told via lett The edition I read has a wonderfully informative foreword by the author’s son. The foreword does give some information that gave me a clue as to what was coming in the story, but it didn’t really contain any spoilers. A few of my Goodreads’ friends have read this story recently and their reviews and comments definitely piqued me interest. So, wow! This story was published first in 1938, and I can see why it’s a classic. I can’t remember the last time I so enjoyed a story, in this case told via letters, when I can’t say I really liked any of the characters. But I was affected greatly by the actions of the two main characters, the letter writers. And the final few letters are amazing and so worth discussing with other readers. This is an incredibly fast read. It’s also a story that will have the most impact if the reader knows nothing about the story. Reading the foreword first was okay for me, but actually I think I’d have rather read it after I read the story. It’s hard to write a review of this because I can’t say anything about this without spoiler tags. Really, I just suggest it be read. It’s great in a quiet way. I was both appalled and delighted by it. For me, it packed quite a punch. I’m not even sure why, but I can’t give this less than 5 stars. I wonder if my mother read it. She was a Jewish woman in San Francisco at the time it was published, and she was an avid reader.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jola

    MERE WORDS How do I even start? I finished reading ’Address Unknown’ (1938) by Kathrine Kressmann Taylor on April 26. For the last month, not even one day has passed without pondering on this short book. I simply can’t forget it. It is like a shard of glass circulating in my veins. Frankly speaking, I underestimated the power of this epistolary novella while reading it and it took me a while to realize how heart-rending it actually was. Beware, it is easy to be fooled by its mock plainness. When I MERE WORDS How do I even start? I finished reading ’Address Unknown’ (1938) by Kathrine Kressmann Taylor on April 26. For the last month, not even one day has passed without pondering on this short book. I simply can’t forget it. It is like a shard of glass circulating in my veins. Frankly speaking, I underestimated the power of this epistolary novella while reading it and it took me a while to realize how heart-rending it actually was. Beware, it is easy to be fooled by its mock plainness. When I reached the last page, I thought that the book lacks literary finesse. As it seems, the emotional impact counterbalances it with a vengeance. By the way, the first editor decided that the story was too strong to appear under the name of a woman and the authoress was asked to use her surnames only. This is how Kathrine Kressmann Taylor explains the genesis of ’Address Unknown’: ’I wanted to write about what the Nazis were doing and show the American public what happens to real, living people swept up in a warped ideology’. She was successful. This book proves that you do not have to scream or use big words to show the monstrosity of antisemitism. Feldherrnalle Odeonsplatz, Munich, Germany, 1934. This is just a short novella but it packs an emotional punch. The premise might lull you into a false sense of security. The story revolves around the friendship between Max Eisenstein, a Jewish American living in San Francisco, and Martin Schulse, his German business partner, who has just returned to Munich and builds a new life there. They exchange letters from November 1932 to March 1934. When I recall the plot now, I am surprised that it stretches only over two years, as it seems like an epoch, given the changes in the relationship. Equipped with these data, you can probably deduct correctly how the friendship between Martin and Max - and their letters - evolve over time. I doubt if you can guess what happens at the end though. For me, the ending of this novella is an epitome of black, piercing irony. Like a creepy smile on a tragic mask. To understand the evolution of the depicted relationship it is interesting to see how Martin perceives Hitler. At first, he is doubtful: ’in many ways Hitler is good for Germany, but I am not sure’. Then his fascination grows: ’The man is like an electric shock, strong as only a great orator and a zealot can be. But I ask myself, is he quite sane?’ Finally, he argues ecstatically: ’He is a drawn sword. He is a white light, but hot as the sun of a new day.’ By the way, not only Martin and Max change. The style of their letters also. From friendly, chatty and jaunty tones to cold and desperate ones. Munich, 1932. Unfortunately, the icy hatred portrayed in ’Address Unknown’ is not a faded photograph, shamefully hidden at the bottom of a drawer. From time to time it comes through with flying colours. I have read a book set in Iran lately and it struck me how similar the violence portrayed there was, despite years and kilometres away from ’Address Unknown’. Especially when I recalled Martin's argumentation, which still gives me shivers: 'You say we persecute men of liberal thought, we destroy libraries. You should wake from your musty sentimentalizing. Does the surgeon spare the cancer because he must cut to remove it? We are cruel. Of course we are cruel. As all birth is brutal, so is this new birth of ours.' ’Address Unknown’ is set at a defined time and place. Nevertheless, the message of the story is universal. It can be summarized in three short sentences: * People are ridiculously easy to manipulate. * Evil is contagious. * Difficult situations are like litmus paper. They relentlessly reveal our true colours. Banal? Simple? Obvious? Please, note that many totalitarian systems were successfully based on these humble truths. History has written a cruel sequel to ’Address Unknown’. Kathrine Kressmann Taylor evidently sensed that consequences of Nazi ideology are already terrifying, but what was really happening, surprised her for sure. The book was published in September 1938, exactly one year before Germany invaded Poland. ’Address Unknown’ was intended as a warning: 'What I discovered was terrifying. What worried me most was that no one in America was aware of what was happening in Germany, and they also did not care.' As it seems, despite the spectacular popularity of the book - it turned out to be an immediate bestseller, soon translated in many languages and added to the banned books list in Germany - it was a voice crying in the wilderness. I owe a big thank you to Orsodimondo whose pitch-perfect review inspired me to read ’Address Unknown’. I had never heard of this book before, although it was published in Poland too. Besides, I absolutely loved the splendid write-up by Ilse and highly recommend it too. Hitler hugging a Jewish girl, Rosa Bernile Nienau.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    While I understand the significance of this story being published in late 1938, I found it hard to believe in the characters, so I never got invested in the story. Perhaps if I hadn't predicted the ending (or something similar to it), I might've felt differently.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Marianne

    Address unknown is a short story by American author, Kathrine Kressmann Taylor. It consists of a series of letters between two friends over a period of sixteen months commencing in early 1932. After some years in America, Martin Schulse has returned to Munich with his wife Elsa and his five young sons, for the sake of their education. His good friend and business partner, Max Einstein runs their thriving art gallery in San Francisco, and sends financial reports along with personal notes. They to Address unknown is a short story by American author, Kathrine Kressmann Taylor. It consists of a series of letters between two friends over a period of sixteen months commencing in early 1932. After some years in America, Martin Schulse has returned to Munich with his wife Elsa and his five young sons, for the sake of their education. His good friend and business partner, Max Einstein runs their thriving art gallery in San Francisco, and sends financial reports along with personal notes. They touch on many matters including the political situation in Germany. The tenor of their letters quickly changes as Martin’s loyalties align with the new regime. His response when Max asks him to check on the welfare of Max’s younger sister, Grisella, an actress currently performing in Berlin, is disappointing, and elicits what at first seems a puzzling response. First published in 1938, this little piece still packs a punch today.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Fionnuala

    It was interesting to read this short story in letter form about the sudden and violent rise in antisemitism in Germany in the 1930's while reading Russell Hoban's Pilgermann at the same time. Pilgermann recounts the story of a very bizarre and dreamlike excursion accross Europe and accross centuries in search of an answer to the same question of antisemitism. But these two books are very different. And yet, there are similarities. Pilgermann is weighed down with masses of Hieryonimus Bosch type It was interesting to read this short story in letter form about the sudden and violent rise in antisemitism in Germany in the 1930's while reading Russell Hoban's Pilgermann at the same time. Pilgermann recounts the story of a very bizarre and dreamlike excursion accross Europe and accross centuries in search of an answer to the same question of antisemitism. But these two books are very different. And yet, there are similarities. Pilgermann is weighed down with masses of Hieryonimus Bosch type satire, while Address Unknown, though very simply stated, also relies a little too much on bald caricature. It left me feeling dissatisfied.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    https://theguardian.com/books/2019/au... Listen here: https://archive.org/details/AddressUn... Publication date 2008-06-20 Topics BBC Radio Drama, Afternoon Play Language English Dramatisation of the 1938 novel. It is 1938 and two old friends, former business associates in San Francisco, exchange letters. One is an American German Jew, the other an American German who, excited and energised by the new Germany of the 1930s, has gone home. Attitudes harden with the seemingly inexorable rise of Hitler, t https://theguardian.com/books/2019/au... Listen here: https://archive.org/details/AddressUn... Publication date 2008-06-20 Topics BBC Radio Drama, Afternoon Play Language English Dramatisation of the 1938 novel. It is 1938 and two old friends, former business associates in San Francisco, exchange letters. One is an American German Jew, the other an American German who, excited and energised by the new Germany of the 1930s, has gone home. Attitudes harden with the seemingly inexorable rise of Hitler, the Jew horrified by the change in his friend and his wholesale adoption of the rhetoric and ideology of Nazism.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ivonne Rovira

    I had never heard of either Address Unknown or its author, Kathrine Taylor, who published under the pseudonym Kressmann Taylor. This short story first appeared in a magazine in 1938, revealing the brutality of the Nazis against the Jews and anyone who opposed them in the slightest. But the heart of the story is how a heretofore tolerant, liberal German could gradually be seduced by omnipresent propaganda and the over-the-top promises of an authoritarian strongman. Address Unknown has been publish I had never heard of either Address Unknown or its author, Kathrine Taylor, who published under the pseudonym Kressmann Taylor. This short story first appeared in a magazine in 1938, revealing the brutality of the Nazis against the Jews and anyone who opposed them in the slightest. But the heart of the story is how a heretofore tolerant, liberal German could gradually be seduced by omnipresent propaganda and the over-the-top promises of an authoritarian strongman. Address Unknown has been published in more than 30 languages and for good reason. Its message remains as important today as it was more than 75 years ago.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Hübner

    http://www.mytwostotinki.com/?p=2368 Address Unknown is a short epistolary novella with a fascinating plot and a strong message; it was first published in 1938 and its author, Kressmann Taylor, is today almost forgotten. Max and Martin own a successful art gallery in San Francisco. They are not only business partners but best friends. The bachelor Max is a frequent and welcome guest at Martin's home and quasi a member of the family; the delicate situation that Max' sister and Martin have an affair http://www.mytwostotinki.com/?p=2368 Address Unknown is a short epistolary novella with a fascinating plot and a strong message; it was first published in 1938 and its author, Kressmann Taylor, is today almost forgotten. Max and Martin own a successful art gallery in San Francisco. They are not only business partners but best friends. The bachelor Max is a frequent and welcome guest at Martin's home and quasi a member of the family; the delicate situation that Max' sister and Martin have an affair about which Max is aware but keeps quiet to Martin's wife adds an element of complicity to the relationship between the two friends. Martin, who has never succeeded in becoming a real American, decides to return to Germany with his growing family. It is the year 1932, and a catastrophe is casting already its long shadows on Germany and Europe. What we read are the fictitious letters and a telegram between Max and Martin, which are an exemplary document for the shocking developments on a large scale in Germany. The first letters contain the exchange of joint pleasant memoirs, some business news, family developments and also a growing amount of political statements. The friendship between the two once close friends doesn't survive very long the seizing of the power by the Nazis on 30 January, 1933. Although Martin has in San Francisco never voiced anti-Semitic opinions, he suddenly talks about the inferiority of the Jews as a race, patronizes local Nazi leaders and finally requests from his former close friend to stop communicating with him. Max reluctantly agrees, but asks for a last time desperately for help from his former friend. His sister has disappeared from her Berlin home and Max' last letter has returned to him with the stamp "Address Unknown" on it which makes Max fear the worst. When Martin writes in one of his letters to Max that the pogroms happen because "you (i.e. the Jews) are lamenting all the time, but you don't have the courage to fight back", he is committing a serious error that will cost him dearly. As readers we can relate to both main characters, even to Martin. He is neither a sadist nor a born Jew-hater. He is a victim of the times and political circumstances in which he is entangled; he is a weakling and coward; he has too much to lose and he loves his wealth which he likes to show off a little bit too much - the combination of these characteristics make him the perfect Nazi follower and tool of their policy - just as millions of others that would have been in all probability decent persons and good friends, were it not for the specific circumstances in which they lived. In a time of growing racism, populism and fascism in many countries, I would like to see this small book read much more; it is an antidote against these evils - and it sets an example that indeed individuals can fight back the Nazis or similar regimes and their followers; maybe not all is lost as long as people are aware that they are usually not completely powerless and can sometimes fight back with success. A small and very impressive book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Doug

    A chilling artifact from 1938, given new relevancy with the rise of fascism (and the benign response to such) in this country currently. Really not even a novella, but a short story that packs an emotional wallop.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lyn Elliott

    A brilliant short story written as an exchange of letters between a Jewish American and his former business partner who returns to Germany from the U.S. in 1933.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Chrissie

    This is an extremely quick read, easily read in one sitting. What is amazing about this book is that it came out so early - in 1938, first in the magazine Story! It is about the holocaust, the consequences of a few letters between a Jew in San Francisco and a friend in Germany. How did it happen that the Germans believed in Hitler? How can long term friendship be so quickly stamped out? And what could be the consequences of just a few letters?

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lianne - Literary Diversions

    Review to come. As soon as I can breathe.

  27. 5 out of 5

    classic reverie

    I am adding to my review below, after having re-read "Address Unknown" so I can compare the 1944 movie version which I saw for the first time last night and the short story. There are a lot of significant changes but the meaning is the same. Katherine Kressman Taylor decided to write this short story after traveling through Germany. The short story is of letters between partners and good friends, which start in 1932 and ends 1934. Martin takes his family back to his homeland in Germany and his J I am adding to my review below, after having re-read "Address Unknown" so I can compare the 1944 movie version which I saw for the first time last night and the short story. There are a lot of significant changes but the meaning is the same. Katherine Kressman Taylor decided to write this short story after traveling through Germany. The short story is of letters between partners and good friends, which start in 1932 and ends 1934. Martin takes his family back to his homeland in Germany and his Jewish friend Max is to take care of the art gallery. These letters show the breakdown of a friendship after the rise of Hitler. I will compare the movie and story in my spoiler section below. The movie was good but the letters leave us to wonder more about certain aspects of the story. I still do not like Martin but I also still think Max put blood on his hands by his continual coded messages. Information given prior to the story. "In 1939, Simon & Schuster published ADDRESS UNKNOWN as a book and sold fifty thousand copies, a huge number in those years. Hamish Hamilton followed suit in England with a British edition, and foreign translations were begun. But 1939 was also the year of Blitzkrieg; within months most of Europe was under the domination of Adolph Hitler, the Dutch translation disappeared, and the only other European appearance of ADDRESS UNKNOWN was on the Reichskommisars list of banned books. So the story remained unknown on the continent for the next sixty years, despite its great impact and success in the U.S. and England." "A short time before the war, some cultivated, intellectual, warm-hearted German friends of mine returned to Germany after living in the United States. In a very short time they turned into sworn Nazis. They refused to listen to the slightest criticism about Hitler. During a return visit to California, they met an old dear friend of theirs on the street, who had been very close to them and who was a Jew. They did not speak to him. They turned their backs on him when he held his hands out to embrace them. How can such a thing happen, I wondered. What changed their hearts so? What steps brought them to such cruelty?" "What worried me most was that no one in America was aware of what was happening in Germany, and they also did not care. In 1938, the isolationist movement in America was strong; the politicians said that affairs in Europe were none of our business and that Germany was fine. Even Charles Lindbergh came back from Germany saying how wonderful the people were." Old Review- I can see why this was an eye opener for the Americans and I had come across this book from an OTR (old time radio) quiz program called Information Please (1940); when a question about the book was asked to the panel. I found it disturbing and just a glimpse at what atrocities that happened in Germany at that time but I also found it disturbing that after Martin told of his family's problems after his coded letters, his friend did not end them. He was his friend and doing away with him would not bring his sister back and his previous letters made their point. Reading her 1942 book next. 💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢SPOILER ALERT 💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢💢 In the movie Heinrich, Martin's son stays in San Francisco and his fiance Griselle, Max's daughter goes to Vienna and Berlin for her acting career. Elsa, Martin's wife is more family centered not worrying about invitations from important people, than Martin who wants to know them. The views of Max's wonder about Hitler reach Martin's Baron friend who tells him he must no longer have communications with a Jew. So we see Martin starts to be impressed with the Nazi's and tells Max to stop writing. Griselle is refused at Martin's home and sensors wanted certain play lines deleted which she spoke on stage and stated she was not afraid after the sensor asked her real last name was Jewish. She gets away from the angry Jew hating mob and is at Martin's home but he refuses her entrance and she is killed. Max finds out his daughter is dead and Heinrich is upset too. Letters are still sent but in codes from which makes Max nervous and the Nazi looking at him. Elsa decides to take the children to Switzerland, she is upset about Griselle's death, and Martin tells her to mail a letter to Max to stop writing. Martin is told not to leave his house and is finally killed or taken by the Gestapo. A letter is returned to the gallery Address Unknown. It is clear the son was writing the coded letters. The book, Elsa wants to be a social part of Germany and she does not leave her husband. Heinrich is not in America but with his family in Germany and he is not engaged to Griselle. Griselle is Max's younger sister and had an affair with Martin while he was married but they broke it off and were friends. Griselle after a play where she is exposed as a Jew makes it to Martin's home and he refuses to help her. She is shot. Max is writing the coded letters and Martin and his family is in danger.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly

    Originally published in 1938, The New York Times Book Review hailed it as "the most effective indictment of Nazism to appear in fiction." In 1995, a year before the author died, it was reissued and gained the status of an American classic. After her death, it became a bestseller in Europe. The novel is epistolary and roughly based on real-life experiences of the author. Two very close friends and business partners in San Francisco, California, a Jew and a German. The latter, a kind, liberal-mind Originally published in 1938, The New York Times Book Review hailed it as "the most effective indictment of Nazism to appear in fiction." In 1995, a year before the author died, it was reissued and gained the status of an American classic. After her death, it became a bestseller in Europe. The novel is epistolary and roughly based on real-life experiences of the author. Two very close friends and business partners in San Francisco, California, a Jew and a German. The latter, a kind, liberal-minded man, goes back to Germany before the war. They exchange letters and here one sees the German's gradual transformation into a rabid follower of Hitler and the fate that ultimately befell him. Excellently done as it reads like a true story.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Celia

    Taylor's son has written a beautiful forward that so aptly describes the book. I quote two sections: "WHEN “ADDRESS UNKNOWN” WAS FIRST published in the United States, in STORY magazine in September 1938, it caused an immediate sensation. Written as a series of letters between a Jewish American living in San Francisco and his former business partner, returned to Germany, the story, early on, exposed the poison of Nazism to the American public." "Author Kressmann Taylor, “the woman who jolted Americ Taylor's son has written a beautiful forward that so aptly describes the book. I quote two sections: "WHEN “ADDRESS UNKNOWN” WAS FIRST published in the United States, in STORY magazine in September 1938, it caused an immediate sensation. Written as a series of letters between a Jewish American living in San Francisco and his former business partner, returned to Germany, the story, early on, exposed the poison of Nazism to the American public." "Author Kressmann Taylor, “the woman who jolted America,” was born Kathrine Kressmann in Portland, Oregon in 1903. After graduating from the University of Oregon in 1924, she moved to San Francisco and worked as an advertising copywriter, in her spare time writing for some small literary journals." This short story now in book form was originally published in a Magazine entitled "Story", after many initial rejections. The story was so popular that the magazine sold out all copies. Readers were forced to make mimeograph copies so that they could share with friends. I liked the format of letters back and forth between Max, the Jewish man, and his partner, now in Germany, Martin. As the letters progressed, I thought the turn of events very clever. It took me less than an hour to read this gem. Highly recommend. 5 stars

  30. 4 out of 5

    Zak

    An American Jew and a German are best of friends and partners in a rather successful art gallery in the US. The time is just before the outbreak of WWII, when Germany is under great economic stress as a result of the penalties and constraints placed upon it after WWI. The German returns to his homeland where he has bought a huge new family home with his newfound wealth. The tale unfolds in the form of a series of letters between the two. Great premise but the book is way too short. Due to the co An American Jew and a German are best of friends and partners in a rather successful art gallery in the US. The time is just before the outbreak of WWII, when Germany is under great economic stress as a result of the penalties and constraints placed upon it after WWI. The German returns to his homeland where he has bought a huge new family home with his newfound wealth. The tale unfolds in the form of a series of letters between the two. Great premise but the book is way too short. Due to the compressed length, developments felt too rushed and the escalation was rather abrupt. I was emotionally invested enough to want it to be, say, at least another 50 pages longer. Still, an engaging read, with a nice little twist at the end. [Final rating: 3.75*]

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