Synopsis“I have learned to live without freedom, without hope. So why do I find it so damned hard to live without my conscience.”The book is telling the partly true partly fictional story about the Jewish actor, entertainer and stage director Kurt Gerron who was very popular in Berlin in the twenties and early thirties. In 1933 he flees from the Nazi's and ends up in the Netherlands after short stops in Vienna and Paris. In the Netherlands he continues his career with performances in the “Joodse Schouwburg” and cooperating on several Dutch movies. With his wife Olga he is being transported to Westerbork and after deported to Theresienstadt. Here the SS asks him to make a movie in which the humiliating life in the ghetto is portrayed as a paradise. Declining the offer means a one way ticket to Auschwitz but accepting means betrayal to his art and oneself. AuthorCharles Lewinsky was born in 1946 and divides his time between Zurich and France. He has made a career in the movies, directing and as play writer. He wrote several novels who have been translated in various languages. He has won various awards for his books.ReviewLast year I read my first Lewinsky, the very popular “Het lot van de familie Meijer”. Though I enjoyed the use of language in that book I was less enthralled with the story. When I heard the synopsis of this book though I knew I had to have it. A bookshop in Amsterdam was having a signing with Charles Lewinsky and though I was not able to attend there they made sure I got a signed copy 3 days after the release, thanks Athenaeum Amsterdam. When I got really fed up with my books for this month I decided to pick this one up and I am happy I did.The author continues his beautiful use of language in this book. There are so many strong one liners in this book that make you gasp, think or cry. There is one main character in this book and that is Kurt Gerron, the actor. All the other people are playing a role in his life. The most important his wife Olga who seems to be the only person able to see what really goes on in his mind. It is clear he loves her very much and she is the most important. But he himself is the second best in his life. The actor and famous stage director. I loved how the author build his personality. Sometimes you really wonder how he can be so blind to things around him and you really feel like yelling at him because he is making all the wrong decisions. Other times you just want to go and help him. The story itself is partly true part fictional. You do not really get that feeling though when you read it. If you want to know which parts are made up you would have to do a lot of research. If the author would have claimed it was Gerrons diary which he made readable I would have believed it too. It is a book I am going to put on my bookshelf and pick up again in 10 years cause I remembered it was so beautifully written.