A story of survival in wartime Berlin
Schonhaus’ description of the horrible conditions that prevailed in wartime Berlin is quite good. In The Forger he provided this reader a sense of the place that was convincing. One can see that the author knows Berlin. However, it is a story that has been written many times over. The "Last Jews In Berlin," by Leonard Gross, comes to mind. Being presented in the first person increases the story’s poignancy. Schonhaus' characterization of himself is quite credible, and it must be assumed that the original German version must read well. Unfortunately, the English translation is not as good as it could be. Finally, Cioma's crossing the Suisse border was rendered as being much too easy. The reader gets the impression that the author was in a hurry to complete the story.