Mendelssohn is on the Roof

Mendelssohn is on the Roof On the roof of Prague s concert hall Julius Schlesinger aspiring SS officer is charged with the removal of the statue of the Jew Mendelssohn but which one is he Remembering his course on racial sci

  • Title: Mendelssohn is on the Roof
  • Author: Jiří Weil Marie Winn
  • ISBN: 9780810116863
  • Page: 484
  • Format: Paperback
  • On the roof of Prague s concert hall, Julius Schlesinger, aspiring SS officer, is charged with the removal of the statue of the Jew Mendelssohn but which one is he Remembering his course on racial science, Schlesinger instructs his men to pull down the statue with the biggest nose Only as the statue topples does he recognize the face of Richard Wagner This is just thOn the roof of Prague s concert hall, Julius Schlesinger, aspiring SS officer, is charged with the removal of the statue of the Jew Mendelssohn but which one is he Remembering his course on racial science, Schlesinger instructs his men to pull down the statue with the biggest nose Only as the statue topples does he recognize the face of Richard Wagner This is just the beginning in Weil s novel, which traces the transformation of ordinary lives in Nazi occupied Prague.

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      Published :2019-02-15T01:03:44+00:00

    1 thought on “Mendelssohn is on the Roof”

    1. One book leads to another. As here.I last readHHhH by Laurent Binet and from page one (the pages were unnumbered, but I could count that far) I knew I had something special in my hands. Every page yielded a laugh, a horror, an enchantment. Binet, in a novel kind of history (or history novel), seemed always to find the right anecdote.My favorite story was about Reinhard Heydrich (Acting Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, trustee of The Final Solution, Nazi to the core, and music lover) leavi [...]

    2. While Primo Levi, Ann Frank, and Eli Weizel are well known contributors to Holocaust literature, Jiri Weil is not. It is a shame that Weil is not better known because his work is just as powerful. This novel, set in German occupied Prague, "The Protectorate" as it is known, faithfully and horrifically describes life outside of the concentration camp. The closest it gets is the Terezin ghetto. Life was equally bleak outside the extermination camps. The novel views the world through the eyes of va [...]

    3. Weil, Jiri. MENDELSSOHN IS ON THE ROOF. (1960, trans. 1991). *****. Weil was one of the best known writers in Central Europe in the 1930s. In his youth he was a militant communist, but was later forced out of the party. In 1942, he was summoned for transport to a concentration camp, along with the rest of Prague’s Jews, but he feigned suicide and managed to hide out for the rest of the war. He died in Prague in 1959. This novel starts out in a way that makes you believe that it will be a comic [...]

    4. It starts out as quite a funny and light book, as a satire of the nazi's occupying Prague. Of course, this was no picknick, and after about one hundred pages the tone changes to melancholy and misery. However, it never becomes cliched or melodramatical. On the contrary, the portraits painted by Weil are deeply moving. Now, I didnt give it five stars, because I was really enjoying the mocking of nazis, when suddenly the stories started to become grimmer and grimmer and the dark humour that charac [...]

    5. The farce of the attempts to remove the statue of Felix Mendelssohn from the roof of Prague’s Rudolfinum during the Nazi occupation is one of the great stories of Prague’s otherwise tragic time in the euphemistically named Reichsprotektorate of Bohemia and Moravia; the orthodoxies of Nazi ‘racial science’ holds that the Jewish composer should have the biggest nose, when that was the case for the statue of Wagner – the Nazi’s favourite composer. In the end, Mendelssohn was taken down [...]

    6. I really didn't like the author's other book, and so I hesitated to try this one, but I figured, what the heck, the title's great, let's give it a go. I'm really glad I did! I think this book gets a great feel for the atmosphere of chaos, uncertainty and fear in the Holocaust, and you see the lives of the characters (there are a lot of them, many of them not connected to each other) spin around each other and occasionally intersect, and you hold your breath as each person's story comes to its in [...]

    7. I read this quite a few months ago and I thought I'd written a review on it, but I see it's not here. It's too long ago for me to remember the specifics but I know I thought it was amazing.

    8. The main problem with this work is the confusing nature of the storyline. Weil clearly has the grandest of ambitions, and it is obvious that he is a capable, strong writer. The ideas for a remarkable story are certainly there, as is the character development - from the Jewish families, Nazi officials, and Czech citizens. The subtle nuances of each individual struggling to survive in Nazi-occupied Prague bring striking humanity to the most inhuman times; Weil manages to portray each individual ch [...]

    9. Set in Prague during the Nazi occupation in World War 2 and follows the lives of several different, mostly Jewish, characters. It's almost more a collection of loosely connected short stories than a novel.From the back cover: "Julius Schlesinger, aspiring SS officer, has received his new orders to remove from the roof of Prague's concert hall the statue of the Jewish composer Felix Mendelssohn. But which of the figures adorning the roof is the Jew? Remember his course on 'racial science,' Schles [...]

    10. The story of Mendelssohn's statue is the starting point for this satirical look at Prague under Nazi occupation, told through the lives of various inhabitants of the city. It is as much a collection of related short stories as a novel, as each person's narrative could be seen a a story in itself. Some of the stories are grim, it becomes harder to make fun of the occupiers as their repression continues, but there are a few uplifting moments too. It becomes a testament of life under a brutal regim [...]

    11. I want to give this book 500 Stars. It should be required reading for everyone above the age of 14. Marvelous and heartwrenching account of life in Prague under the Nazi occupation. Initially the novel lulls you into a false sense of comfort that it will be one of these tongue-in-cheek ironic Czech comedies of error, but it quickly turns to a painfully honest account of the things people (are forced to) do when faced with horrific non-choices and the small moments in which they find hope even if [...]

    12. When I first read this, about ten years ago, I thought it was quite good, a moving portrayal of Bohemia under German occupation. I still think so, but this time the experience of reading it was very different due to my having lived in Prague and read (or at least skimmed) scads of interwar Czech magazine and newspaper articles, including some by Weil. This time I knew more of the locations personally, recognized many more of the historical references and people mentioned, etc. This naturally mad [...]

    13. What a sad story about life (and death) under the German occupation of Prague! The beginning is a bit lighter, even funny, with the story of the Mendelssohn statue that has to be torn down as he had Jewish origins. However as there are several statues nobody knows which one is Mendelssohn's! Afterwards the story (or better stories as each chapter seems to be a story of its own) gradually gets a lot more serious describing the desperate struggle of various individuals to survive.

    14. Nejdřív se to zdálo jako zábavná knížka z protektorátu, což je samo o sobě odvážný počin, který mě bavil. Pak se nějak humor vytratil, ale až ke konci mi došlo, že to je klasická protektorátní depka. Nejen konec, skoro celá knížka. Ale dařilo se to celkem dlouho tajit. Je to dost podivnuhodný útvar, který určitě stojí za přečtení, ale když už se do toho zamotala ta závažnost (ono těžko se jí vyhnout), tak bych ty příběhy uvítala mnohem propracovaně [...]

    15. Very good book about people living under Nazi occupation outside Prague. Similar to Irene Nemirovsky's Suite Francais, but with more irony.

    16. This book was mentioned in Laurent Binet’s HHhH, which was great. I had to read this one as well, and after saving it for some time, it was finally time for a return to Prague with Mendelssohn is on the Roof. Jiří Weil's book consists of chapters of connected stories with alternating protagonists, set in Prague and Theresienstadt during the last years of WWII. It depicts the lives of both Jews and gentile Czechs and the humiliations they had to endure working under the Germans while hoping t [...]

    17. If you want a book that shows humanity in all its evil and misery this pretty much fits the bill. Weil paints an array of characters in varying positions of power and domination struggling to stay on top or to stay alive. The power games and uncertainty, the ease with which people become compromised and justify to themselves their actions in the most extreme of circumstances are as relevant today as they were in the days of terror that Czechoslovakia experienced under Nazi occupation. Weil is pa [...]

    18. An excellent book about the Nazi occupation of Prague during WW2 and their treatment of the local Jewish population told through the eyes of several imagined characters. True stories, historical fact and supposed lives are brought together into a dark retelling of one of the most depressing chapters in modern history. Weil writes with black humour about a subject that few would dare to broach in such a manner but still lends the respect that such history deserves.

    19. Many story lines only loosely tied together at various points. All are interesting though few are straight-forward. Not a typical WWII Holocaust or Nazi novel. Also doesn't really tie any story up with a bow.

    20. A great achievement, and at times a tough read. A good rebuttal to those who believe culture makes for better leaders. That the Nazis were as human as you or I is such an obvious yet suppressed fact. (Though shame about the pro-Communist aspects of the book.)

    21. Starts out as almost a comic novel of the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia before subtlety growing darker and bleaker. The occupying force, while often absurd, was horrific in the extreme and even black comedy is an insufficient response.

    22. Excellent novel, I am surprised the author is not more known.For anybody who is interested in Prague and in the dark period of its nazist occupation.

    23. Very good book, really sad and disturbing to know in detail what happened in the Checz Republic during the Second World War.

    24. Although I am slightly irritated that we seem to need an American author's endorsement to sell a Czech author in Central Europe (even if that American author happens to be one of my favorites), I feel about Jiří Weil's work as Philip Roth does: they are my most heart breaking readings on the Shoah. One of the reasons for this is that they are not only about the fate of the Jews under Nazi occupation, but about the fate of everyone under Nazi occupation. "Mendelssohn is on the Roof" is especial [...]

    25. Soms zet een beschrijving van de inhoud van een boek je een beetje op het verkeerde been. Hoewel het er bij nader inzien niet staat, verwachtte ik een boek waarin alles zou draaien om het neerhalen van het verkeerde beeld van het concertgebouw (Rudolfinum) in Praag. Maar dat bleek niet zo te zijn. Het is simpelweg het begin van Mendelssohn op het dak en laat ons kennismaken met Julius Schlesinger, gemeenteambtenaar en lid van de gewone SS, niet eens van de Waffen-SS, zonder rang en alleen maar k [...]

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