At the February meeting the German Book Club will read and discuss "Kleiner Mann - was nun?" (Little Man, What Now?)
by Hans Fallada.
The original version by the author, finally published by the Aufbau Verlag in 2016, includes the edits from the first edition published by Rowohlt in 1932.
The bookkeeper Johannes Pinneberg and his girlfriend, the sales girl Emma "Lämmchen" Mörschel, marry when they find out that she is two months pregnant.
Hardly any time passes until Pinneberg is fired and must find a new job in the middle of the economic crisis.
Little Man, What Now?
follows their struggle to survive, first in a small provincial town and then in Berlin, in the depths of the Great Depression.
They face accommodation shortages, malicious employers, uncaring government bureaucracy, and unemployment, and have to struggle both to balance their budget and to retain their basic decency and self-respect.
Fallada gives a detailed description of the living conditions of the white-collar workers of the time.
He also shows the roles of trade unions, governmental institutions, and sacking in the labor market.
Businesses are shown to pit people of the same class against each other and reveal everyone’s worst side.
Publisher: Aufbau Verlag; 4 edition
This meeting of the German Book Club is moderated by Ruth Bloch.