Marmiteboy - Urbane Warrior.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Seventh Gate by Richard Zimler

On 14 July 1933 the Nazi government of Germany passed the "Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring (Gesetz zur Verhütung erbkranken Nachwuchses)" also known as the sterilization law. The law ordered the compulsory sterilization of anyone deemed to be "suffering from genetic disorders". Over 400,000 people were sterilized against their will and no one knows how many people were murdered but it is believed to have been hundreds of thousands.

Zimler's wonderful book is set in Berlin during the Nazi's reign of terror and focuses on Sophie Riedesel a feisty 14-year old who has a secret circle of Jewish and disabled friends and her relationships with Issac Zarco their leader, her Nazi adoring boyfriend and her disabled brother.

Zimler has painted a terrifying picture about what it must have been like to be Jewish, disabled or gay during in Germany before the war. The atrocities carried out by the Nazi's makes you angry, helpless and leaves you devastated that man could inflict such suffering on their fellow man. But it also is a book of hope and how some people no matter how dangerous is was to continue friendships with 'undesirables' refused to turn their backs and fight against what was right.

The characters are wonderfully drawn. Sophie is a strong, witty and although it might seem that she is years ahead of her time is completely believable. Issac the leader of the group of ex-circus performers is a tower of strength to all around him and provides shelter for his friends Vera, the giantess, the Heidi and Wolf who are small people, the deaf photograpgher Karl-Heinz and his wife Marieanne and a blind, gay tightrope walker called Roman.

Zimler has told a story captivates from the first page and grips you until the final page. It is frightening in its realism, extremely touching, shatteringly sad but at times funny too. It is well worth a trip to your local library.

Friday, August 24, 2007


Today I had pancakes for my tea. They were okay but not as nice as my Mum's. Marmite tried a bit but was put off by the lemon and sugar. Twiglet doesn't care for such things either.


Friday, August 03, 2007

Marmite and Spaghetti Bolognese.

Not content with eating Baked Beans on Toast Marmite's palate has become more sophisticated. He now enjoys a plate of Spaghetti Bolognese. Now he has been trying this delicacy for a while now but I haven't been quick enough with my camera phone to catch him tucking in. I apologise for the poor quality of the photo but it does show that he is more partial to the pasta than than the minced beef.

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