The Bird Has No Wings

Letters from my brother Peter Schwiefert to our mother

In 1938, Peter Schwiefert, a “Half-Jew”, declares himself a Jew and flees Nazi Germany at the age of twenty-one. His subsequent letters to his mother, with whom he shared an extremely close bond, document his tragic destiny: after periods of exile in Portugal, Greece, Palestine and Egypt, he eventually joins the Free French Forces. His struggle is driven by political as well as personal motives – he is fighting for the triumph of art and beauty as well as freedom and dignity. Peter Schwiefert’s letters look towards an eventual reunion with his mother – a reunion that never takes place. Just before the end of the war he is killed near the Franco-German border.

  • A unique and intimate historical testimony addressed to the subject of Angelika Schrobsdorff's bestselling biography You Are Not Like Other Mothers, selected and presented by the same author

Press acclaim:

"More than sixty letters from a son to his mother; letters that leave a memory as radiant as Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet" Madelaine Chapsal, L’Express


dtv Literatur
312 pages, ISBN 978-3-423-28008-2
1. November 2012