The Architects (European Classics)

The Architects (European Classics)

Stefan Heym

Language: English

Pages: 327

ISBN: 0810120445

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Written between 1963 and 1966, when its publication would have proved to be political dynamite-and its author's undoing-this novel of political intrigue and personal betrayal takes readers into the German Democratic Republic in the late 1950s, shortly after Khruschev's "secret speech" denouncing Stalin and his methods brought about a "thaw" in the Soviet bloc and, with it, the release of many victims of Stalinist brutality. Among these is Daniel, a Communist exile from Hitler who has been accused of treachery while in Moscow and who now returns to Germany after years of imprisonment. A brilliant architect, he is taken on by his former colleague, Arnold Sundstrom, who was in exile in Moscow as well but somehow fared better. He is now in fact the chief architect for the World Peace Road being built by the GDR. In Daniel, Arnold's young wife Julia finds the key that will unlock the dark secret of her husband's success and of her own parents' deaths in Moscow-and will undermine the very foundation on which she has built her life. A novel of exquisite suspense, romance, and drama, The Architects is also a window on a harrowing period of history that its author experienced firsthand-and that readers would do well to remember today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

whispering on the terrace. Then they hadn’t all gone. . . . Julia supported herself on her elbow, and listened. They were pouring drinks, striking matches, settling back in creaky chairs. “I’m glad you stayed on.” That was Arnold, keeping his voice low. “I’d feel rotten if I had to be alone, now.” “And Julia?” Waltraut’s voice, just above a whisper. “Julia. . . .” A glass fell, but was caught before it could break. “Be careful,” Waltraut warned. “Here’s my hand.” “Tell me, Waltraut: why do

above the washstand, her elbows raised as she patted her hair in place at the back of her head, his mouth went dry. Dragging his feet, he stepped up behind her, put his hands to her ribs, and softly, softly brushed his lips against her temple. He had almost no voice as he said, “I shall marry you, Julia”—adding, hastily, a sort of reassurance to Julian Goltz and Babette, dead these years, and to the law—“as soon as you’re fully grown-up.” And now she was grown-up and the mother of his child, and

to free himself, the deeper he was being sucked in. “Moscow,” she said, “was different from Prague?” “My dear,” he said, “you know that! ” And sensed, too late, that the difference she had in mind was none of the obvious differences—the twisted-onion towers on St. Vassily’s instead of the Prague Gothic on Thein Church; socialist austerity in place of cof-feehouse laissez-faire. She was putting her finger on that cardinal difference which explained that now it was he who could talk the client’s

man throwing his child in the air with the man druggedly asleep at her side, her father looking young enough to be his son; but he was her husband—the equations of time introduced strange factors. She couldn’t recall Arnold as a young man, hard as she tried to conjure up an impression of him in that period; he must have changed over the years since he and her father were friends, since that hotel on Gorky Street, since Prague; her image of Arnold had always been the same, more fatherly than her

again,” Sundstrom pleaded, from outside. “You didn’t understand; it’s not simple, I know. But you must try.” “I did understand.” She shut the bag: a few of her things, the boy’s. The rest Frau Sommer could pack and send after her. “I understood exactly. Everything.” She listened. There was no further comment. Had he given up and gone? More likely he was standing there, behind that door, waiting for her and Julian to emerge as they must. “Why are we leaving?” said the child. Julia shook

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