Set during the final weeks of World War II, The Savior is the story of Gottfried Keller, a young German violinist. Exempted from military service, Keller is burdened with the demoralizing task of playing for wounded soldiers in hospitals and makeshift infirmaries.
As he leaves his apartment one morning to pick up a new assignment at headquarters, Keller finds an SS driver waiting for him and is escorted without explanation to a labor camp outside his town. There he is introduced to the camp's Kommandant, who tells Keller that he will spend the next four days performing for the inmates as part of an experiment in reviving hope in those who have lost it completely.
Overwhelmed by fear and compelled by the temptation of using his talent to affect others so powerfully, Keller finds himself playing a series of concerts for the prisoners -- and seeing with his own eyes the horrifying truths within the barbed-wire fence. As he plays the music of Ysaÿe, Hindemith and Bach, most notably the searing Chaconne, Keller's own questionable past unfolds, revealing the loss of his closest friend and the Jewish fiancée from whom he fled in fear of being caught as a Jew-lover. As he bears witness to the camp's atrocities, Keller's horror toward the perpetrators and their crime begins to fade, revealing his own culpability.
Beautifully conceived and gracefully written, The Savior is a complex and illuminating character study of a man severed from his past expectations and an artist struggling with his identity in the face of human catastrophe.
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- Simon & Schuster |
- 224 pages |
- ISBN 9781416559870 |
- July 2007
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