“Few novels strike such a stark note of warning, or capture with such accuracy the perilous years of the rise of a dictatorship.” Financial Times
The Oppermanns, in the original 1933 James Cleugh translation (with minor adaptations), has been re-published by Persephone Books, London, with a preface and notes by Sir Richard Evans, Emeritus Regius Professor of History, Cambridge University.
Professor Evans points out that “the brutality and criminality of the regime were clear enough even in the first months of the Nazi dictatorship, and Feuchtwanger’s novel supplies unforgettable evidence of their extremism and their extent, as well as the complacency of so many people, including a substantial part of the Jewish community, who failed to realise what was happening until it was too late.”
He also notes that the novel is “all too relevant in the twenty-first century, as a warning against complacency in the face of lies and abuse, and a call for vigilance in the defence of democracy against those who would destroy it. It is the first great masterpiece of anti-fascist literature, and deserves to be as widely read today as it was on its original publication.”
— For a full analysis of the novel and its reception in 1933-34, see International Feuchtwanger Society Conference 2017.