To Sing With the Angels

By Maurice Hindus
A FINE novel, quiet and restrained, yet very dramatic. Jozhka Liebergut, son of the only German parents in Liptowitse, a village in Czechoslovakia, is trained in Bavaria as a Nazi leader and returns to his birthplace as commissar. From boyhood he has been in love with and he later marries Annichka Mrachek, whose father is mayor and chief benefactor of the town. It is a situation full of tragic potentialities. The gradual penetration of the Nazis is described, and the consequent subjugation of a free, happy people. The peace, plenty, and charm of the little village are contrasted with its later poverty and terror, and one reads with a dull rage against the savage arrogance of the invaders as they ruin a civilization superior to their own and do so always in the name of future peace and progress. But Mr. Hindus indulges in no wholesale condemnation of’ the Germans or wholesale adulation of the Czechs.
He exhibits good and bad examples of both. Jozhka himself is presented as an honest enthusiast, pathetically loyal to the Führer and tortured by irreconcilable affections. Reading the book forces upon one the sorrowful reflection that the philosophy of might and hate is no more dangerous in itself than in the way it generates a similar philosophy in those it tries to enslave. R. M. G.