Wallstein Verlag

Valentin Schwan

for the time being

edited by Sebastian Weitkamp, with a report by Birger Schmitz

679 pages
ISBN: 978-3-8353-5378-7


German Version

The long-forgotten novel of a former prisoner about his time in the concentration camp Esterwegen 1934–1936. Annotated and reissued with expanding texts.

»Someone will write it one day, Jakob. One out of the anonymous group of those who got away... The book of our time... The memorial of the unknown ›Moorsoldaten‹...« A character says these words in the novel about KL Esterwegen but perhaps the author is talking about himself. But the book, published in 1961 under the pseudonym Valentin Schwan, was soon forgotten and the author’s identity remained a mystery. It was not until 2015 that the pseudonym was deciphered by chance: Hans-Otto Körbs – a prisoner in Esterwegen in 1935/36 – had written the text. The story of the novel is thus the story of a rediscovery, too.
In a matter-of-fact style, Schwan/Körbs has processed his memories of imprisonment in form of a novel. He writes thoughtfully and profoundly about life in one of Germany’s first concentration camp: about the prisoners, the camp SS and the violence. Sebastian Weitkamp, co-director of the Esterwegen Memorial, has now annotated the text and republished it together with the very personal account of a descendant of Hans-Otto Körbs – the Swede Birger Schmitz.
nach oben