By Countess Waldeck $2.75 MCBRIDE
AN aloof but intelligent observer, Countess Waldeck watched the 1940 and 1941 crises and catastrophes of Rumania from the glittering sidelines of the Athene Palace Hotel in Bucharest. She studied the Rumanian aristocrats, the politicians, King Carol and his crew, the Iron Guardists, the patriots and the exploiters. Although a bit nonAryan, she was gossip with Nazi leaders as they infiltrated into the Rumanian economy and government and finally took over the whole concern. Corruption did not affect, nor force and brutality dismay, her. She records her experiences and her impressions — and the effect is appalling. The Nazi philosophy in application, however ‘correct’ the behavior of its agents, can induce onlydespair in those who see its objectives and its effects. This author rarely yields to her emotions. She implies more than she says. But her analysis is keen and her critical estimate of the present is based on a sound historical appreciation which justifies her tears and hopes for the future. The book is fast-moving and entirely readable. The author describes corruption with a kind of tolerant good humor, and tragedy without patches of purple. The setting is exotic. One feels that it is as dead, today and tomorrow, as it was glittering and fictitious yesterday. R. E. D.