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Book Title: Emil Jadi Detektif|
The author of the book: Erich Kästner
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 24.81 MB
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Loaded: 2430 times
Reader ratings: 5.8
Date of issue: 1979
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
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I read this German children's classic while the Greek debt drama of July 2015 was unfolding; I would finish a chapter, go to the Daily Telegraph live blog, catch up on the latest news from Brussels, then return to Emil.
The people reporting on the political story were eager to cast the Germans, particularly the hardline Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, as the villains. I read many pieces about how Schäuble was imposing unreasonable and humiliating conditions on the Greeks, and when one looked at poor Euclid Tsakalotos it was indeed difficult not to feel sorry for him. But as Emil's story progressed, I began to experience an odd sympathy for the Germans. Emil, a bright and responsible eight-year-old, comes from a poor home. His father is dead. His mother doesn't bring in much as a hairdresser, but by planning carefully she is just able to make ends meet and even save a little. She's finally scraped together 140 Marks so that Emil can go and visit his grandmother in Berlin for a week, and both she and Emil are very proud of this achievement. And then, while he's on the train, a heartless thief steals his money. Emil never cries, but he cries now, because he thinks of all the sacrifices his mother made to put that little capital together. And then he moves heaven and earth to get his stolen money back.
I watched Schäuble requesting more and more outrageous conditions before he would consent to lend a third tranche of his country's money to Alexis Tsipras, and I suddenly saw him as a small boy reading Emil und die Detektive. He did now just what Emil does in the book: he made contact with a group of like-minded people, got them on his side, encircled the criminal who seemed to be on the point of making off with his assets, and forced him to capitulate. Greece will probably get its loans, but only when they've pledged suitable collateral. It was one of the toughest pieces of negotiation I've ever seen.
There's something beautiful and terrifying about that Protestant work ethic.
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Read information about the authorErich Kästner (1899 – 1974) was a German author, poet, screenwriter and satirist, known for his humorous, socially astute poetry and children's literature.
A stout pacifist and democrat, he was expelled from the national writers' guild during the Nazi era, with many of his books being burned in public. Today, he is widely regarded as one of Germany's most prolific and beloved children's book authors.
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