Another Green World

Written by Richard Grant
Review by Ken Kreckel

In 1929, four young Americans journey to an international youth conference in Weimar, Germany, which promises the dawning of a new era.  Here they forge friendships with their European counterparts, relationships which become immersed in the political and racist currents that will plunge the world into chaos. Fifteen years later, two of them, now back in America, are summoned by another who has become a legendary member of the Polish resistance. He is seeking to hand over critical evidence concerning the Final Solution. This launches the childhood friends on a mission to the partisan dominated wilds of central Europe, where they must confront the truth about themselves and the tortured world they have inherited.

Far from a quick read, this is an ambitious book that mixes myth with reality, youthful idealism with the horrors of war.  It is told in meticulous detail, with frequent flights into the ideologies of the times.  The author’s prose is elaborate, given to lush descriptions, and a myriad of historical and literary references.  His characters are remarkably introspective. Overall, the sheer scope of the work is impressive, especially in its illumination of some seldom examined facets of prewar Germany and wartime backwaters of Eastern Europe.