The Sudetenland

Haunted by the past: Winterberg’s Last Journey, by Jaroslav Rudis, reviewed

Jaroslav Rudis’s latest novel follows the 99-year-old Wenzel Winterberg, a Sudetenland German, and his middle-aged Czech carer, Jan Kraus, on what is a quirky European take on the buddy road-trip story. Marx claimed that ‘men make their own history’, but do so under the burden of the past, with the weight of dead generations upon them. The tragedy soon to become a farce begins, according to Winterberg, at the site of the Battle of Königgrätz, with the old man proclaiming: ‘The Battle of Königgrätz runs through my heart.’ He then rambles on about its ‘half a million ghosts’, their roles and where they lie now, before blaming the battle for