„Es gibt so viel Züge … so unendlich viel Züge …“
‚Der Reisende‘ von Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz (1915-1942) als Reiseroman im Kontext des Holocaust
Seiten 15 - 44
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In Rudolf Alexander Boschwitz’ novel ‚The Traveller‘ (1939), Jewish businessman Silbermann is forced to make a series of train journeys through Nazi Germany after a failed attempt to escape across the border. Gradually, he begins to realise that he cannot escape persecution. However, while Silbermann is always in danger of being exposed as Jewish, the journey also offers him insights into the National Socialist regime, e.g. how opportunism, indifference and direct persecution reinforce each other. When Silbermann is eventually arrested and his incessant travels come to an end, it becomes apparent how much he has internalised travelling as a final, inherently circular form of freedom. The paper argues that Silbermann's journey is as much a psychological category as a political one. The protagonist’s paradoxical, aimless travels contribute to a reframing of his persona. Even as his mental state deteriorates and becomes increasingly delusional, travelling emerges as an expression of freedom in a repressive, violent, and delusional world.