German novel makes UK bestseller list 83 years on

The Passenger, a novel written about the persecution of Jews in Germany in 1938 but which was then forgotten about for 80 years has made it onto a UK bestsellers list.

Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz’s The Passenger, according to the BBC, is about a Jewish man who – like the author – attempts to escape the rise of the Nazi regime.

The book, which was rediscovered in 2018 after the author’s niece told an editor about it, tells the story of a Jewish businessman called Otto van Silbermann, who hears a knock at his door from Nazi Storm Troopers and quickly realises he must flee. He and his wife stuff all their money into a suitcase and end up boarding train after train across Germany as they try to make their escape.

The book has had stellar reviews and has now entered The Sunday Times list of top 10 hardback fiction bestsellers.

The UK edition sold almost 1,800 copies last week to put it at number 10 on the list.

It was written in the weeks after Kristallnacht (the Night of Broken Glass), the outbreak of mass violence against Jews in Germany and Austria in November 1938.

Boschwitz himself had left Germany three years earlier after anti-Semitic laws were enacted.

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