An invisible countryStephan Wackwitz
Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer, 2003
Paperback Edition: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 2005
A German story of an unexpected reunion: an old-fashioned camera is returned to its original owner in a roundabout and mysterious way at the beginning of the nineteen nineties. It belongs to the eighty year-old father of the narrator who in 1939, at the age of seventeen, has to hand it over to a British navy officer while at sea between Angola and Argentina before being taken a prisoner of war. The family of the German-national pastor and veteran of the First World War, Andreas Wackwitz, emigrates from the area around Auschwitz, the Galician border between Poland, Austria-Hungary and Upper Silesia to Africa and are subsequently prevented from returning by the outbreak of the Second World War. The eldest son spends seven years felling trees in a Canadian camp. His forgotten camera makes its way to a depot in London, later to Berlin, travelling half a century through time. Which photos will be found on the sixty year-old film? In this novel Stephan Wackwitz, grandson of the emigrant, tells the story of three generations.