The Architects, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


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This author led an interesting life. A German communist who fled Hitler, he settled in the United States and fought in the US army in the war, while remaining a communist. After the creation of the German Democratic Republic in 1949 he defected there, where he was for a while feted as a prominent anti-fascist writer, before becoming disillusioned with the Stalinist state. He fell out of favour and his works were effectively banned. After the collapse of East Germany and reunification, he briefly sat in the German parliament.This novel was written in the early 60s and concerns the aftermath of Khrushchev's secret speech denouncing Stalin, with Julia Goltz finding out that her parents were among those condemned and executed during the purges, and shatteringly, that her husband, their old friend, was the one who had denounced her. It contains some interesting passages about the nature of betrayal and how compromise with dictatorship corrupts human conscience and decency. But I didn't find the characters very interesting and there were too many digressions into architecture that I found a bit dull. So this didn't fulfil its promise for me. 3/5