Audio – 0:12:43

Reading with Daša Drndic, Brigitte Döbert & Blanka Stipetic

Internationaler Literaturpreis 2015 | Long Night of the Shortlist and Award Ceremony 2015
Wed, Jul 8, 2015

Daša Drndic: Sonnenschein
Translated from the Croatian by Brigitte Döbert & Blanka Stipetic | Sonnenschein
Hoffmann und Campe Verlag 2015 | Fraktura, Zapreši? 2007

“A woman who has waited for 62 years leafs through documents from the time when the National Socialists were in power and murdering people in the city of Gorizia north of Trieste. A family tree, a 70-page list containing the names of 9,000 Jews who were murdered or deported from Italy or from territories occupied by Italy, brief biographies of SS men, photos, song lyrics, testimonies: Croatian Daša Drndi? assembles documents about an unknown scene of the Holocaust in Haya’s memoirs of her dangerous affair, a family of hangers-on and failed attempts to find her lost son. Brigitte Döbert and Blanka Stipetic are able to preserve in German the changing pitches of this unusual documentary novel hovering between fact and fiction, bureaucratic seizure and personal destiny.” (The jury on the shortlist nomination 2015)

A mother waits for her son. It’s been 62 years since he was abducted by the Nazis from Gorizia, a city on the Italian-Slovenian border. This was where she had an affair with an SS officer as a young girl. Unlike the rest of her Jewish family, Haya Tedeschi survived, only to spend decades searching for the son who was stolen from her. She comes upon other fates, reads testimonies, looks at photographs and mementos. With her story, Daša Drndi? tells of the horrors of the last century, assembles fact and fiction into a documentary novel that nears the mechanisms of evil lest we forget the dark first half of the twentieth century and the excesses of the Holocaust in southeastern Europe.