The Case of Sergeant Grischa


The Case of Sergeant Grischa (1927) is a war novel by the German writer Arnold Zweig. Its original German title is Der Streit um den Sergeanten Grischa. It is part of Zweig's hexalogy Der große Krieg der weißen Männer (The great war of white men). It was part of the so-called "war book boom" of the late 1920s, during which many veterans of the First World War turned their memories and experiences into semi-autobiographical novels. The first English edition was published in 1928.The book is a satire, focusing on the way in which innocent men are sacrificed in war, one irony being that the authorities spend more time and energy on the niceties of Grischa's case than they do on trying to save their own soldiers from their fate. Some major actors in the war are feebly disguised: General Ludendorff is "Schieffenzahn", the politician Matthias Erzberger is "Deputy Hemmerle", General Max Hoffmann is "Clauss", and Field Marshal von Eichorn is "von Lychow". The first film based on the novel was created in 1930 in the USA; a second one was made in Germany in 1968. East German television aired a mini-series based on the novel in 1970.
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