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German novel banned by the Nazis appears in English for first time

A novel banned by the Nazis has been published in English for the first time after being translated by rare bookseller Simon Beattie.

The first English translation

At the Edge of the Night (Am Rande der Nacht in German) by Friedo Lampe was published in 1933, but it immediately infuriated the Nazis for its homoerotic content and depiction of an interracial liaison between a black man and a white German woman.

The Nazis removed all copies from sale and placed the book on their list of “damaging and undesirable writings”

Beattie’s English translation has been published by Hesperus Press. He told The Guardian:

“Lampe’s a very interesting author: a disabled, gay writer during the Third Reich … who somehow survived only to be shot by a Red Army patrol days before the end of the war. Although he gets an entry in The Oxford Companion to German Literature, nothing by him has ever appeared in English before.”

Simon Beattie

Beattie’s introduction to the novel reveals Lampe’s grave is marked with a wooden cross, carved with the words “Du bist nicht einsam”, or “you are not alone”.

The novel is set in Bremen and is an early example of magical realism.

Beattie has run his own bookselling business since 2010. Before that, he spent 10 years working for Bernard Quaritch’s antiquarian bookselling firm.

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