Fred Uhlman, Ali Smith (Introducer)
The romantic forested landscape of southwest Germany is the setting for the birth of a friendship that will haunt sixteen-year-old Hans Schwarz for the rest of his life. Hans is Jewish, the son of a doctor who is confident that the rise of the Nazis is only 'a temporary illness' afflicting his beloved country. Hans's new classmate, Konradin von Hohenfels, is a dazzling young aristocrat whose mother keeps a portrait of Hitler on her dressing-table. Hans is immediately drawn to Konradin, and thrilled when a close bond forms between them, forged by common interests that set them apart from the other boys. But their loyalties are soon tested in ways they could not have imagined. Three decades later, from the vantage point of New York City, Hans once again confronts this life-shaping episode from his youth, through a stunning revelation that he stumbles upon by chance. In its story of friendship undone by History, Reunion combines the explosive compression of a fable with the emotional depth of an epic novel many times its length.