Simone Zelitch

It is 1988. Judit Klemmer is a filmmaker who is assembling a fortieth-anniversary official documentary about the birth of Judenstaat, the Jewish homeland surrendered by defeated Germany in 1948. Her work is complicated by Cold War tensions between the competing U.S. and Soviet empires and by internal conflicts among the “black-hat” Orthodox Jews, the far more worldly Bundists, and reactionary Saxon nationalists who are still bent on destroying the new Jewish state.

But Judit’s work has far more personal complications. A widow, she has yet to deal with her own heart’s terrible loss—the very public assassination of her husband, Hans Klemmer, shot dead while conducting a concert.

Then a shadowy figure slips her a note with new and potentially dangerous information about her famous husband’s murder.

status Copy #1 (92): in
genre Literature and Fiction » Historical Fiction
publisher PM Press
publish date 2020
popularity checked out 1 time(s)


  • By Bill Svoboda -

    I’ve found Simone Zelitch to be an easy author to get to know-and like. And her novel “The Confession Of Jack Straw” is a minor masterpiece-easily rating 5 stars. Unfortunately, rating “Judenstaat” even 4 stars feels a little like a stretch. There’s plenty of good stuff going on- her basic style, lots of ideas, lots of good intentions and her love for/knowledge of history. That’s the problem-it’s too much for the basic structure/format-( a 301 page novel). A longer novel would have worked better (maybe even a trilogy?!?) -or best of all a series of inter-related short stories set in her alternate historical universe.

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