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Along the Trenches: A Journey through Eastern Europe to Isfahan

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Along the Trenches: A Journey through Eastern Europe to Isfahan

Navid Kermani, Tony Crawford (Translator)

ISBN: 978-1-509-53557-6 November 2019 Polity 256 Pages

Paperback
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CAD $31.95
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Description

Between Germany and Russia is a region strewn with monuments to the horrors of war, genocide and disaster – the bloodlands where the murderous regimes of Hitler and Stalin unleashed the violence that scarred the twentieth century and shaped so much of the world we know today.  In September 2016 the German-Iranian writer Navid Kermani set out to discover this land and to travel along the trenches that are now re-emerging in Europe, from his home in Cologne through eastern Germany to the Baltics, and from there south to the Caucasus and to Isfahan in Iran, the home of his parents. 
Along the way he meets the citizens of Schwerin, in north-eastern Germany, who have gathered in a restaurant for coffee and cake at the invitation of the Alternative für Deutschland, the far-right anti-immigration party, and listens to them talking about their fears of becoming losers in their own country, their interests overlooked while their government gives priority to helping refugees and asylum seekers among others; he travels to Paneriai, 10 kilometers from the centre of Vilnius in what is now Lithuania, where, in June 1941, thousands of Jews were rounded up by the SS and Lithuanian volunteer units, taken into the woods and shot; he drives through the lands around Chernobyl where hundreds of towns and villages once stood, with their schools and shops and community centres, and now only a handful of people remain, their houses torn down when they die. 
This beautifully written travel diary, enlivened by conversations with the people Kermani meets along the way, brings to life the tragic history of these troubled lands and shows how this history leaves its traces in the present.  It will be of great interest to anyone concerned with current affairs and with the events that have shaped, and continue to shape, the world in which we live today.
Contents
Cologne
First Day: Schwerin
Second Day: From Berlin to Wroc aw
Third Day: Auschwitz
Fourth Day: Cracow
Fifth Day: From Cracow to Warsaw
Sixth Day: Warsaw
Seventh Day: Warsaw
Eighth Day: From Warsaw to Masuria
Ninth Day: Kaunas
Tenth Day: Vilnius and Vicinity
Eleventh Day: Via Paneriai to Minsk
Twelfth Day: Minsk and Khatyn
Thirteenth Day: Into the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
Fourteenth Day: Kurapaty and Minsk
Fifteenth Day: Into the Exclusion Zone East of Krasnapolle
Sixteenth Day: From Minsk to Kiev
Seventeenth Day: Kiev
Eighteenth Day: From Kiev to Dnipro
Nineteenth Day: To the Front in Donbas
Twentieth Day: Via Mariupol to the Black Sea
Twenty-first Day: Along the Black Sea to Odessa
Twenty-second Day: Odessa
Twenty-third Day: Leaving Odessa by Air
Twenty-fourth Day: Via Moscow to Simferopol
Twenty-fifth Day: Via Bakhtshyssarai to Sevastopol
Twenty-sixth Day: Along the Crimean Coast
Twenty-seventh Day: From Crimea to the Russian Mainland
Twenty-eighth Day: To Krasnodar
Twenty-ninth Day: From Krasnodar to Grozny
Thirtieth Day: Grozny
Thirty-first Day: In the Chechen Mountains
Thirty-second Day: From Grozny to Tbilisi
Thirty-third Day: Tbilisi
Thirty-fourth Day: Tbilisi
Thirty-fifth Day: To Gori and the Georgian-Ossetian Cease-fire Line
Thirty-sixth Day: From Tbilisi to Kakheti
Thirty-seventh Day: From Kakheti to Azerbaijan
Thirty-eighth Day: Along the Azeri-Armenian Cease-fire Line
Thirty-ninth Day: By Night Train to Baku
Fortieth Day: Baku
Forty-first Day: Baku and Qobustan
Forty-second Day: Leaving Baku by Air
Forty-third Day: Yerevan
Forty-fourth Day: Yerevan
Forty-fifth Day: To Lake Sevan and On to Nagorno-Karabakh
Forty-sixth Day: Through Nagorno-Karabakh
Forty-seventh Day: To the Armenian-Azeri Cease-fire Line and On to Iran
Forty-eighth Day: Via Jolfa to Tabriz
Forty-ninth Day: Via Ahmadabad to Alamut Castle
Fiftieth Day: To the Caspian Sea and On to Tehran
Fifty-first Day: Tehran
Fifty-second Day: Tehran
Fifty-third Day: Tehran
Fifty-fourth Day: Flying Out of Tehran
With Family in Isfahan
The Journey Begins
Acknowledgements
Bibliography

“A book so moving and so powerful that’s it’s worth taking 54 days over it, so that each day you can immerse yourself in a new world.”
NRD

“A breathtaking travel diary and a passionate plea for the diversity of cultures, for Europe and the beauty of stories.” 
Bayrischer Rundfunk

“On almost every page there is something for the reader to think about, to learn, to marvel at.” 
Tages-Anzeiger

“Kermani has succeeded in writing a stirring plea for Europe, one which confirms his place among the ranks of Germany’s most influential intellectuals.” 
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung