George Orwell journey through a bombed country –

Between March and November 1945 the English writer George Orwell traveled through Germany and Austria on behalf of the English newspaper “Observer”. In his reportages, which are well worth reading, Orwell describes the extent of the destruction, for example in Cologne: “The center, which was once famous for its Romanesque churches and museums, is now nothing but a chaos of jagged ruins, overturned trams, broken statues and huge mountains of rubble from which rusty steel beams protrude like rhubarb stalks. “

He describes freed prisoners of war who are full of hatred of the Germans, the forlornness of the “displaced persons” whom he visits in the camps, and experiences the Germans sometimes submissive, sometimes distant, sometimes hostile, hardly remorseful. Orwell, who praises the American administration for its efficiency and sees the difficult task of “sifting the Nazis out of the non-Nazis”, also worries about Germany
Future and comes to the conclusion that “an agricultural slum” does not help Europe any further. “Sober judgments, differentiated analyzes and clairvoyant reflections”, Volker Ullrich rightly attests in his detailed afterword to the author, who in 1949, shortly before his death, became world-famous with the novel “1984”.

Rezension: Dr. Heike Talkenberger

George Orwell
Journey through ruins
Reports from Germany and Austria 1945
Verlag CH Beck, Munich 2021, 113 pages, € 16, –

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