Originally published in 1932 and banned by the Nazis one year later, Blood Brothers follows a gang of young boys bound together by unwritten rules and mutual loyalty.
Blood Brothers is the only known novel by German social worker and journalist Ernst Haffner, of whom nearly all traces were lost during the course of World War II. Told in stark, unsparing detail, Haffner’s story delves into the illicit underworld of Berlin on the eve of Hitler’s rise to power, describing how these blood brothers move from one petty crime to the next, spending their nights in underground bars and makeshift hostels, struggling together to survive the harsh realities of gang life, and finding in one another the legitimacy denied them by society.
“Haffner’s project is journalistic, to portray destitution and criminality without the false sparkle of glamour—though Berlin is not half as boring as he (coyly) claims. The author was a social worker and a journalist, and his skill in portraiture and the depiction of a social milieu is evident… The characters are engaging, and multidimensional. You care what happens to them.” —The Wall Street Journal
“[Haffner] has the eye of a documentarian and a keen...