Bernard Wittmann: Letters from Kurdistan 1954-1963
Petra Krusell (Ed.)
Verlag Hans Schiler
1. Edition (2013)
Format: epub E-Book
Bernard Wittmann: Engineer, family man, erstwhile concentration camp prisoner, and diligent writer of letters. In a time that appears closer to the era of carrier pigeons than that of the phone and yet is barely half a lifetime past,
Wittmann built roads, bridges, and friendship in Iraqi Kurdistan. No sociological or historical bias and no political agenda gets in Wittmann's way to enter this alien society: He makes do with strong nerves, reading Karl May's adventure novels, and common sense to grasp and appreciate Kurdistan. Then comes the 1958 revolution, the Barzani insurrection, coups. War in Kurdistan! Soon neighboriong villages are obliterated and the road construction camp is stuck between the fronts and gets under fire, too. Wittmann's letters home oscillate between idyll and abyss, between panic and the attempt to not upset his family. Thus grasping for objectivity, but stuck in a very German and subjective way, is created the picture of a society that then still seemed so inconceivably far away.
»The Letters from Kurdistan belog among the best of reports and narratives from this country.« (Süddeutsche Zeitung)