The History of a Word 02/07/20
A Berlin Love Song
Publisher: Troika Books
It's 1942. Lili Petalo is a trapeze artist in her family's circus. Max Hartmann is a member of the Hitler Youth, about to be recruited into the German Army. But Lili's family are Roma, which means that she, along with Jews, Sinti and many other groups are being persecuted by the Nazis - and, worse - sent to concentration camps. Lili and Max's love is forbidden, and the war will tear them apart.
Called "the forgotten holocaust" by Angela Merkel, the persecution of close to a million Roma and Sinti people is one we hear little about in the context of World War Two. Though Matthias' novel is a work of fiction, it does very much feel like a story that might have really occurred between two young people who had the misfortune of falling in love during such an unimaginably tragic and savage time.