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GREGOR, Manfred. The Bridge. Translated by Robert S. Rosen. New York : Random House, (1960). First Printing. Pp (6),-215,(5). 8vo, red cloth spine, black cloth boards, spine lettered in white, blue and black, top edge dyed blue.
"The General gave his command to seven soldiers standing at stiff attention: / expect the bridge to be held, come what may. Do you understand? Of course they understood. Of course they would obey. Were they not German soldiers and responsible men - and fully sixteen years old?
This is a shattering story told with eloquent understatement and emotions held in check - a story of children born on the wrong side of World War II, stuffed into uniforms, and dumped on a bridge like sandbags to form a last-stand blockade against the advancing Americans. Though barely awakened to life, and just beginning to treasure their individual lives, these youths must face the imminence of death with the brutal knowledge that the sacrifice is futile. What had they gotten out of their experiences and brief lives? Flashbacks into the boys' backgrounds prepare us for their individual actions and reactions in the tense moments before the first shot is fired. But it is in the graphic description of battle that the final weight of the book lies: the quick maturity of some of the boys, the frightened adolescence of others make a shocking and memorable contrast between the innocence of youth and the depravity of war.
Already translated into sixteen languages, The Bridge has been hailed abroad as one of the most compelling novels of our time." (from the dj).
Gregor Dorfmeister (born March 7, 1929 in Tailfingen, today part of Albstadt) is a German journalist and writer. Under the pseudonym Manfred Gregor, Dorfmeister published three novels.
Very good in lightly rubbed, price-clipped dustjacket (with 8/60 at bottom of front flap). 50.00