Page 44 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 7 (1948-1949)

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
32
on Jewish religious practices and the frequently interpolated praise
of the religion of Jesus will tend to irritate many a sensitive Jewish
reader.
In
The end is not yet
, a novel by Fritz von Unruh (N. Y., Storm,
’47), Hitler is portrayed in vivid, macabre, evocative scenes, as
the Antichrist. The depth of his hatred for the Jews is plumbed
in the discovery of his mingled fear and detestation of Jesus the
Jew. He can be right only if Jesus is wrong. And so, like the
Grand Inquisitor, he ferrets out all the weaknesses of what Chris-
tianity has become in the modern world. The indictment is
terrific.
Zelda Popkin went overseas to report on the European Theatre
of Operations in 1945 and her novel
Small victory
(Philadelphia,
Lippincott, ’47) is the fruit of what she saw in Germany of DP’S,
anti-Semitism and the absence of intelligent planning. Among the
characters in her novel is a high-strung AMG officer of Jewish de-
scent who commits suicide after his dream of re-educating German
youth has been shattered. The passive hero of her narrative,
Pincus Gold, a DP, determined to study medicine at a German
university, does not mind the hatred of the German medical au-
thorities; he simply wants to study medicine instead of wasting
away his life in DP camps. Professor Barlow, the novel’s active
hero, a liberal from the South, helps him to achieve his aim with-
out being able to persuade his bosses that a “numerus clausus”
for DP’s is a posthumous victory for Dr. Goebbels. While he wins
his individual case, he loses out on the major issue. The novel is
in many ways a thoughtful revelation of things as they still are.
The life of a Jewish boy brought up in a Catholic orphanage,
deprived of real roots and a home and really getting his education
on the streets of New York, is described in
Never love a stranger
;
a novel by Harold Robbins (N. Y., Knopf, ’48). Actually it is
an ambitious novel about the life of a gangster in which an effort
is made to explain the confused motives and mysterious character
of the repulsive hero, and to explain why he acted as he did.
Frankie Kane grew up in a Catholic orphan asylum on the upper
West Side of New York. He was tough, aggressive, strong, a natu-
ral leader. When he found that he was not born a Catholic but
was Jewish the news did not make much difference to him. He
enjoyed the few years he spent with his Uncle Morris and Aunt
Bertha and his fame as high school hero. But Frankie could not
go straight for long. He ran away at seventeen and became a
bouncer in a Baltimore brothel, a sailor, a grocery clerk and finally
a gang leader. Apparently the purpose of this novel is to portray
a gifted man who went bad because in his childhood he lacked
family affection and the lack of love for others in his own make