This anthology features an eclectic mix of eighteen modern works by a selection of Switzerland's heterogeneous community of Jewish writers. Questions about Jewish identity and the legacy of the Holocaust remain current and controversial in Switzerland because of the country's now well-publicized economic involvement with Hitler's Germany and the scandal that erupted when the purported Holocaust memoir of Binjamin Wilkomirski was revealed to be a hoax. This collection includes an excerpt from a novel by Daniel Ganzfried, the journalist who exposed the Wilkomirski Affair; two chilling counterfactual accounts of a Nazi-occupied Switzerland by television scriptwriter Charles Lewinsky; an epistolary satire of contemporary Swiss and Jewish life by Serguei Hazanov, a Russian-Jewish immigrant; lyrical evocations of exile by Gabriele Markus; a memoir by renowned theatre director Luc Bondy; strikingly harsh portraits of contemporary European life from painter and performance artist Miriam Cahn; and a screenplay about the Holocaust and Jewish refugees in Switzerland by Swiss filmmaker Stina Werenfels.
Surprising in its diversity and sometimes disturbing in its preoccupations, this anthology will make it hard to generalize about Jewish life in Switzerland or to think in polarities such as Switzerland and "the Jews."
Rafael Newman is a writer and translator living in Zurich, Switzerland. He is the author of The Visible God: Staging the History of Money and the editor of Zweifache Eigenheit: Neuere judische Literatur in der Schweiz.
Preface; IntroductionDaniel Ganzfried: Excerpts from The Sender (1995)Rose Choron: "Swiss Transit" (1988)Jean-Luc Benoziglio: Excerpt from Fire on the Lake (1998)Yvonne Leger: Excerpts from Eljascha (1990)Charles Lewinsky: Excerpts from Hitler on the Rutli (1984)Roxman Buxbaum: "Dreams" (1999)Marta Rubinstein: "The Shneyder" (1990)Luc Bondy: "Elsa, or, Where Was I?" (1998)Gabriele Markus: Selected Poems (1986-2)Sylviane Roche: Excerpts from Where Have All the Flowers Gone? (1998)Serguei Hazanov: Excerpts from Russian Letters (1997)Amsel: "In the Tower" (1998)Shelley Kastner: "Antisemitism, or, the Pleasure of Cruelty" (1997)Michael Guggenheimer: "Adler" (1999)Regine Mehmann Schafer: "Trayf and Kosher" (1998)Marianne Weissberg: Excerpt from Manhunt, or, Lily and the Schmucks (2)Miriam Cahn: "WHAT REGARDS ME" (1998)Stina Werenfels: Pastry, Pain, and Politics (1998)Acknowledgements