Erich Maria Remarque: Der Funke Leben. [Spark of Life ] (1693 words)

  • Hans Wagener (University of California, Los Angeles)

Der Funke Leben [Spark of Life] was first published in 1952 in English translation [transl. James Stern. New York: Appleton, Century] and half a year later in the German original. In this novel Remarque tells the story of a group of inmates of a concentration camp located outside a fictitious city called Mellern. The camp he describes is not an extermination camp but a labor camp which to a large extent is modeled on the actual concentration camp at Buchenwald, near Weimar. Although told in the third person, Remarque focuses on the fate of “Skeleton 509”, or simply 509, a former journalist who later reveals his name as Friedrich Koller. Under torture Koller refused to divulge the names of …

Wagener, Hans. "Der Funke Leben. ". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 October 2008
[, accessed 23 October 2016.]