Utter Chaos

by Sammy Gronemann

Translated by Penny Milbouer

Foreword by Joachim Schlör

Published by: Indiana University Press

320 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.00 in, 21 b&w illus.

  • Paperback
  • 9780253019608
  • Published: March 2016


  • Hardcover
  • 9780253019578
  • Published: March 2016


  • eBook
  • 9780253019639
  • Published: March 2016


Published in Germany in 1920, Sammy Gronemann's satirical novel set in 1903 at the time of the Sixth Zionist Congress follows the life of a baptized Jew, Heinz Lehnsen, as he negotiates legal entanglements, German culture, religious differences, and Zionist aspirations. A chance encounter with a long-lost cousin from a shtetl in Russia further complicates the plot and challenges the characters' notions of Jewish identity and their belief in the claims of the Zionist movement. Gronemann's humor and compassion slyly expose the foibles and contradictions of human behavior. With deep insight into German society, German-Jewish culture, and antisemitism, Utter Chaos paints a highly entertaining portrait of German Jews at the beginning of the twentieth century.