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Trinity of PassionThe Literary Left and the Antifascist Crusade$
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Alan M. Wald

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780807830758

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807882368_wald

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The Peculiarities of the Germans

The Peculiarities of the Germans

Chapter:
(p.74) 3 The Peculiarities of the Germans
Source:
Trinity of Passion
Author(s):

Alan M. Wald

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807882368_wald.7

This chapter presents the biographical narrative of Albert Maltz (1908–85), a Jewish American Marxist playwright, scenarist, and fiction writer, who, it notes, published The Cross and the Arrow, a novel that would become the most highly regarded work of his literary life. It explains that the novel, commended in the New York Times for “the scope of its vision of humanity,” adopted the form of a fast-paced political mystery to reveal the events underlying the act of sabotage in Nazi Germany in 1942. The chapter describes how Maltz reconstructs the circumstances motivating a German worker, Willi Wegler, a recipient of a Service Cross in recognition of his exemplary labor, to betray his country, through a succession of well-crafted flashbacks. It points out that Maltz constructed this fictionalized anatomy of a feat of antifascist insurgency to contest a burgeoning assumption among the wartime Allies about the singular culpability of the German people for fascist atrocities.

Keywords:   biographical narrative, Albert Maltz, Jewish American, Marxist, playwright, Nazi, Willi Wegler, fascist

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