Year of publication: 2006
Published by: Host
Buy the book: Host
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The book won Magnesia Litera Prize, Usedom Literary Prize and Georg Dehio Prize.
16-year-old Gita Lauschmannová, who grew up in a German-speaking, assimilated Jewish family in a Czech village, returns from a Nazi concentration camp at the end of the war. Now an orphan, she hopes for a warm welcome but instead finds a hostile reception from her father’s former employees who have taken possession of her family’s property and moved into her family’s house. Denouncing her for speaking German and labelling her a Nazi, they put her through a terrifying ordeal. Gita only narrowly escaping being murdered, and is lumped together with the Germans being driven out of Czechoslovakia. She manages to escape again and makes her way to her only surviving relative, an aunt in Prague.
Following the end of communism, Gita Lauschmannová – now a retired doctor – returns to the village to seek justice and an apology. But again the locals, terrified that she wants to recover her long-lost property, close ranks against her. Her only – unlikely – ally turns out to be the son of the family that had driven her out.
Is it possible to get justice for barbaric acts? Can old wrongs be righted? Gita is the victim of racist, anti-Semitic and political prejudice and collective guilt. “Money from Hitler” is a harrowing story infused with the power of a classical tragedy. It is a timeless story of persecution and expulsion, and the futility of the struggle for justice. Radka Denemarková’s second novel won the Magnesia Litera for fiction, Czech Republic’s most prestigious literary prize, in 2007. A critically acclaimed play based on the novel was staged in 2010-2012 at Prague’s Svanda Theatre. The production stirred lively public debate on the highly sensitive subject of postwar expulsions and German-Czech-Jewish triangle.
2007 MAGNESIA LITERA PRIZE for the best prose work of the year
2009 nominated for ANGELUS prize (Poland)
2011 SEDOMER LITERATURPREIS (Usedom Literature Prize), Germany. Laudatio: Hellmuth Karasek. Porota: Hellmuth Karasek, Andreas Kossert, Doris Lemmermeier, Thomas Schulz.
2012 GEORG-DEHIO-BUCHPREIS (Georg Dehio Prize). Berlin, Germany. Laudatio: Andreas Kossert.
From jury’s justifications
- Hungarian edition: Hitler pénze. Translated by Klára Körtvélyessy. Európa, Budapest 2009.
- Polish edition: Pieniądze od Hitlera. Translated by Tomasz Timingeriu and Olga Czernikow. Oficyna Wydawnicza ATUT, Wroclaw 2008. Nominated for the Angelus Prize 2009.
- German edition: Ein herrlicher Flecken Erde. Translated by Eva Profousová. DVA Random House, Munich 2009. Usedomer Literaturpreis 2011 & Georg-Dehio-Buchpreis 2012.
- English edition: Money from Hitler. Translated by Andrew Oakland. Women’s Press, Toronto 2009. [Rights free!]
- Slovenian edition: Denar od Hitlerja. Translated by Tatjana Jamnik. Modrijan, Ljubljana 2010.
- Anthology in Portuguese language (Brasil): Elas escrevem (Antologia de Pontos tchecos contemporaneos escritos por mulheres). Thesaurus, Brasília 2010. (anthology of Czech female writers. A chapter from the book Money from Hitler).
- Italian edition: I soldi di Hitler. Translated by Angela Zavettieri. Keller editore, Torino 2012.
- Moldavian anthology of contemporary Czech literature: Coama leului pe pernă (And a Head of a Lion on the Pillow). Translated by Lidia Našincová. Chişinău, 2013.
- Bulgarian edition: Pari ot Hitler. Translated by Jordanka Trifonova. Afterword by Dobromir Grigorov. Elias Canetti, Ruse 2013.
- Spanish edition: El dinero de Hitler. Translated by Elena Buixaderas. Galaxia Gutenberg, Barcelona 2015.
- Macedonian edition: Parite od Hitler. Translated by Margareta Karajanova. Begemot, Skopje 2016.
- Swedish edition: Pengar från Hitler. Translated by Karin Eriksson. Aspekt Vörlag, Vallentuna 2016. Nominated for Kulturhuset Stadsteatern International Literary Prize 2017.
- Rights sold to:
Serbia: Heliks – for 2018;
China: Flower City Publishing House – for 2018;
Croatia: Hena Com
Peníze od Hitlera (dramatisation of the novel Money from Hitler)
Premiere: 9. 1. 2010. Derniere: 15. 2. 2012. Švandovo divadlo theatre, Smíchov, Prague.
Directed by Michal Lang
Actress Marie Málková in the role of Gita Lauschmannová in the staging of the Money from Hitler was nominated for the Alfréd Radok Prize for the year 2010 in the category the best female acting performance.
Peníze od Hitlera (drama)
Based on the novel by Radka Denemarková
Directed by Tomáš Mašín
Other books from this trilogy: