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Reunion By Fred Uhlman

Reunion is a little known novel But it is also a universal story of friendship It is a book of great power waiting to be discovered On a grey afternoon in 1932 a Stuttgart classroom is stirred by the arrival of a new. I read this book yesterday while I was in the hospital during my prep wait before surgery under a blow up blanket with toasty warm air wearing those cute hospital socks and a hospital gown This is such a tiny thin attractive sweet looking book vintage 74 pages 80 when including the Afterword it fit inside my mini shoulder crossbody bag The Reunion was published in 1971 A timeless powerful remembering back story between two 16 year old boys one Jewish the other Christian during the rise of Nazism in the 1930 sthe setting being pre war Germany There is something permanently life shaping about a one on one special teenage friendship I ve experienced it myselfCharacter Hans Schwartz says that when Konradin von Hohenfel came into his life at age 16 This Boy was to be my greatest source of happiness and my greatest despair A few weeks ago I read another powerful longer book The Air You Breathe by Frances de Pontes Peebles about a life long friendship between two women There was an excerpt in that novel universal experientially felt that feels appropriate to share in relation to this novella too When we are young we give ourselves completely We allow our first friends or lovers or first songs inside us to become a part of our unformed being without ever thinking of the conseuences or the permanence within us The Reunion is narrated by middle aged Hans twenty five years after having lost contact with Konradin Hans is Jewish His father was a doctor and his grandfather a Rabbi Konradin was welcomed into Hans homebut those times that Hans went to Konradin s house his parents weren t home Konradin s parents were Hitler supporters Jews didn t exist for her people was the way Konradin s mother felt Hans and Konradin s friendship was connected by sincere love and enjoymentThey had wonderful discussions they debated about the existence of God in the face of horror they enjoyed coin collecting hiking and growing up togetherThey talked about girls books music They were inseparable yet anti Semitism colored their friendship even from the first day they saw each other in 1932 in the gymnasium in Stuttgart W rttemberg s most famous grammar school founded in 1521 As I started the exuisite book I was immediately moved by Jean d Ormesson who wrote The Introduction Then after reading this exuisite story myself breathless speechless and watering eyes at the endI went back and re read Jean s Introduction again To me Jean s words expressed such truth it s the greatest gift I can pass on about this storyin the same way I was gifted a review by Goodreads friend Laysee I never heard of the author Fred Uhlman until Laysee many thanks Laysee I treasure this book I hold in my hand the story that s in my heart and thoughts I end with Jean d Ormesson s words from her Introduction The book s ending in a few lines is a masterpiece with in masterpiece It transforms suddenly what has been a long short story into a novel of epic dimensions it adds a further luminous dramatic uality like the swell of an organ to what has been a Bildungsroman a story of growing up while retaining the powerful grace and simplicity of the short story Fred Ulman wrote this in 1960 It contains autobiographical elements Ulman was educated in W rttemberg sharing his protagonists love of Swabiawhich he claimed left him a Romantic for life He left Germany in 1933 as a young anti Nazi lawyer settling in Britain and established a career as a painter and poet He died in 1985Overflowing Richness

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Man hills and growing up together But the boys live in a changing Germany Powerful delicate and daring Reunion is a story of the fragility and strength of the bonds between friends WITH AN AFTERWORD BY RACHEL SEIFFER. First published in the early 1970s Reunion has recently been reissued and promoted as the next great undiscovered classic after Stoner although it doesn t yet seem to have achieved the same ubiuity This is a very brief book but the story it tells is powerful a microcosm of emotional turmoil and the intensity of youthful attachmentsHe came into my life in February 1932 and never left it again So begins Hans Schwarz s account of his first great love He has existed largely apart from the other boys at school neither disliked nor particularly popular until the arrival of Konradin von Hohenfels The friendship that develops is so intense it feels like a romance of the novels I ve read in recent times it reminded me most of Andr Aciman s Call Me by Your Name in the sheer power of Hans s attachment and the fact that as indicated by that opening line Konradin left such an indelible mark on his life But this is 1930s Germany and Hans is the son of a middle class Jewish doctor while Konradin s wealthy parents are in thrall to Hitler Reunion is so effective and feels so fresh because it is always about Hans and Konradin with history very much in the background albeit an inescapable encroaching background It makes the political very personal indeed And all roads lead to the bittersweet gut punch of a closing line the final sentence is as unforgettable as the firstTinyLetter Twitter Instagram Tumblr

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Comer Middle class Hans is intrigued by the aristocratic new boy Konradin and before long they become best friends It s a friendship of the greatest kind of shared interests and long conversations of hikes in the Ger. Reunion is just about the perfect novella In merely 74 pages Fred Uhlman captured the blossoming of an adolescent friendship the end of childhood and the darkness cast by political and social realities of life in Stuggart Germany just before Hitler s rise to power Looking back thirty years the narrator Hans Schwarz son of a Jewish doctor recalls how at age sixteen he had sought the friendship of Konradin Graf von Hohenfels a distinguished young count from an illustrious and powerful German family Of their first meeting on a grey dark winter s day in a grammar school Hans says He came into my life in February 1932 and never left it again These words take on greater poignancy when considered in light of the devastating changes that are to follow For Hans this boy was to be the source of my greatest happiness and greatest despair In his precise and tender prose Ulhman gave utterance to the beauty of friendship as it unfolds for these two boys each lonely in his own way It calls touchingly to mind that phase in adolescence when the need to belong and find acceptance is most pronounced and youths are given to romantic ideals of friendship that demand complete trust loyalty and self sacrifice It is wonderful to share the joys of a young friendship But the winds are changing as Hitler s influence begins to permeate every corner of German life Ulhman deliberately kept the political complexities in the background In the foreground Hans and Konradin s friendship bears the brunt of Hitler s disdain and persecution of the Jewish people This novella is than just a Bildungsroman It is a sterling testament of brotherly affection love courage and integrity Nowhere in this novella is this powerfully expressed than in the closing sentence It left me on the verge of tears I sat uietly for a long while and pondered why this story is titled Reunion And then I finally understood Read Reunion Ian McEwan hailed it A masterpiece of elegant economyIt is a brilliant work of art that deserves a far wider readership I cannot say it any better


About the Author: Fred Uhlman

Fred Uhlman was a German English writer painter and lawyer of Jewish origin httpenwikipediaorgwikiFredUhlman



10 thoughts on “Reunion By Fred Uhlman

  1. says:

    I read this book yesterday while I was in the hospital during my prep wait before surgery under a blow up blanket with toasty warm air wearing those cute hospital socks and a hospital gown This is such a tiny ‘thin’ attractive sweet look

  2. says:

    In 1932 Hans Schwarz son of a Stuttgart doctor and descendant of a long line of rabbis met a life changing friend Twenty f

  3. says:

    🇬🇧 It takes an hour and a half to read this little pearl Highly recommended At any ageI was enchanted by Uhlman's writing his descriptions of landscapes and feelings I felt sucked into the story and I saw the events in front of my eyes as realPs I think the last sentence is one of the most powerful of meani

  4. says:

    Reunion is just about the perfect novella In merely 74 pages Fred Uhlman captured the blossoming of an adolescent friendship the end of childhood and the darkness cast by political and social realities of life in Stuggart Germany just before

  5. says:

    I spent ages hesitating about how to rate this book It’s an amazing novella beautifully written beautifully crafted The story is very simple and straightforward but it reaches the reader amidst a web of complex feelings For a short novel the twists and turns are also very surprising at least for me – but perhaps I h

  6. says:

    I was awestruck when I finished this book for the first time back when I was fourteen It's a lovely story

  7. says:

    A strong and compelling novella on the friendship between two sixteen year old boys Jewish Hans Schwartz and Christian Konradin Graf von Hohenfel With the rise of Nazism Hans is uneasy and the butt of jokes by some of the students He

  8. says:

    First published in the early 1970s Reunion has recently been reissued and promoted as the next great undiscovere

  9. says:

    About the PlotThe background is Stuttgart Germany of 1930s The time of Nazi rise to power The main protagonists in this novella are two sixteen year old boys a Jew and a German Protestant Christian Enough for hints I think you guessed the story right But that does not say everything Read the novel to feel it The last line of this novella is one of the best ones Not that it is extra ordinary in literary sense A simple informativ

  10. says:

    On the front of the edition I was reading from 1983 there is the uoted recommendation from Jeffrey Archer ' A wonderful experience no one can miss I wish I had written Reunion ' All I could think of was the uoted exchange of I think Oscar Wil

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