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The Assault

por Harry Mulisch

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2,204377,154 (3.81)169
It is the winter of 1945, the last dark days of World War II in occupied Holland. A Nazi collaborator, infamous for his cruelty, is assassinated as he rides home on his bicycle. The Germans retaliate by burning down the home of an innocent family; only twelve-year-old Anton survives. Based on actual events, The Assault traces the complex repercussions of this horrific incident on Anton's life. Determined to forget, he opts for a carefully normal existence: a prudent marriage, a successful career, and colorless passivity. But the past keeps breaking through, in relentless memories and in chance encounters with others who were involved in the assassination and its aftermath, until Anton finally learns what really happened that night in 1945--and why.… (mais)
Adicionado recentemente porkvschnitzer, uitkijker, Lokileest, AllySwearingen, BronwenD22, rvdt
Bibliotecas LegadasEeva-Liisa Manner
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Five episodes from Anton Steenwijk's life are described in this novel, five stations of his life: from 1945, 1952, 1956, 1966, and 1981. It is the first that is the most significant, describing the assault of the novel's title.
Twelve year old Anton lives with his parents and his brother in Haarlem, near Amsterdam. The war is almost at an end, but occupied Holland still suffers great hardship -- there is hardly enough food to eat, the schools are closed in the winter because they can not be heated. One January evening, "in the silence that was Holland then, six shots suddenly rang out." Fake Ploeg, "Chief Inspector of Police, the greatest murderer and traitor in Haarlem" has been shot as he rode his bicycle by. The Steenwijk's neighbors rush out and drag the body, which had fallen in front of their house, in front of the Steenwijk's house. Everyone knows the Germans will retaliate. Peter, Anton's brother runs out to move the body elsewhere, but it is too late. The Germans arrive, Peter flees, the Steenwijks are rounded up, their house immediately burned to the ground. Anton is taken away from the scene.
Anton is not treated harshly, the police do not know what to do with him. He winds up in Amsterdam, where an uncle is called to pick him up the next day.
Anton's parents and his brother were killed, though this is only discovered after the war is finally over. Anton is raised by his aunt and uncle. The assault is part of indelible past, but he can not directly confront it. In the second episode, in 1952, he finally ventures back to Haarlm to the scene of the crime. In 1956, during anticommunist demonstrations he runs into Fake Ploeg Jr., the son of the murdered collaborator and a former classmate of Anton's. Ploeg's life was also turned upside down by the events of that evening; he never finished school and now works as repair man. In their conversation Ploeg argues that his father was as innocent as Steenwijk's parents, that his own loss was as great as Anton's, suggesting a different measure of guilt and innocence.
Anton becomes an anaesthesiologist, and he marries. At a funeral in 1966 he meets a man who was involved in the assault on Ploeg, and again questions of guilt and innocence are raised. The assassin, a member of the Dutch Resistance, acknowledges that they knew the Germans would retaliate, that innocents would die as a result of the attack, but he argues that he could only be held responsible for those deaths he actually caused.
Finally, in 1981, Anton runs into one of the neighbors who had moved Ploeg's body in front of the Steenwijk house that night, learning for the first time why they had done this -- and why they had chosen this (and not another) neighboring house.
Told against the backdrop of shifting Dutch post-war society, centered around significant points in that history -- the reaction to the events in Budapest in 1956, the release of Willy Lages (head of the Gestapo in Holland), anti-nuclear protests in 1981 -- Mulisch paints a canvas of the difficulties of Dutch society in coming to terms with the events of the war. There are no easy answers for Mulisch, no simple blame to assign, even where it first appears there might be. The hand of fate lurks strongly here, but Mulisch has a subtle touch with it.
Very well written, The Assault is a morality play for our complex times, a far cry from most simplistic war literature. The difficulty in determining and judging right and wrong is superbly described here.
An important, and very good, book. Highly recommended.
1 vote Challr | May 21, 2023 |
Ich habe es nach Jahren mal wieder gelesen und es hat mich wieder genauso gefesselt wie beim ersten Mal. Eine sehr differenzierte und plausible Auseinandersetzung mit Schuld und Leid. Die deutschen Mörder von Antons Eltern und Bruder kommen nach der Beschreibung des Verbrechens nicht mehr vor. Dafür kommen aber alle Personen zu Wort, die indirekt oder direkt dazu beigetragen haben, dass die Deutschen Besatzer an Antons Familie mörderische Vergeltung geübt haben. Die beiden Freiheitskämpfer*innen können ihre Sicht der Dinge erklären, genauso wie die Nachbarin, die seinerzeit die Vergeltung der Deutschen auf Antons Familie "umgelenkt" hat. Am Eindrücklichsten war für mich die Begegnung mit den zwei unbeteiligten Personen, deren Leben durch das Verbrechen ebenso belastet wurde wie das der direkt beteiligten Personen: Der Sohn des erschossenen Kollaborateurs, der mehr über das Schicksal Antons nachgedacht hat als Anton über seines; die alte Nachbarin, der das Entsetzen noch nach Jahren in den Knochen steckt. Harry Mulisch zeigt, dass es bei Verbrechen im Krieg keine einfachen Wahrheiten gibt und dass Verbrechen Leid in vielen Schattierungen und Spielarten hervorbringen.
Außerdem wird deutlich, dass nachfolgende Generationen nie wirklich verstehen können, was es bedeutet, Leid und Verbrechen selbst miterlebt zu haben. Da geht es Antons Kindern im Buch wohl wie mir, dessen Eltern (wie Anton) den Krieg als Kinder miterlebt haben. Man weiß, dass es schlimm gewesen sein muss damals; man kann sich ausmalen, dass eine Kindheit bei einer hart arbeitenden, ständig besorgten Kriegswittwe ganz anders gewesen sein muss als die eigene, behütete Kindheit in den Siebzigern. Harry Mulisch macht deutlich, wie sehr traumatische Kriegserlebnisse ein ganzes Leben prägen, ohne dass die Mitmenschen das ganze Ausmaß wirklich erfassen können. ( )
  Bassgesang | Nov 6, 2022 |
Im Hungerwinter 1945 wird vor dem Haus der Steenwijks im niederländischen Haarlem der NS-Kollaborateur Fake Ploeg erschossen. Aus Rache erschießen die Nazis Geiseln, machen das Haus dem Erdboden gleich und töten seine Bewohner. Nur der 12-jährige Anton Steenwijk überlebt die Strafaktion. Dieser versucht das Geschehene zu verdrängen, doch zufällige Begegnungen wecken beim Hauptprotagonisten die Geister der Vergangenheit.

Harry Mulischs Roman ist ein Stück niederländischer Vergangenheitsbewältigung und erzählt vom Umgang mit der eigenen, ambivalenten Vergangenheit während der NS-Besatzung. Der Autor wirft aber auch grundsätzliche, philosophische Fragen zum Widerstandsrecht und Tyrannenmord und vor allem zur Thematik von Schuld und Sühne auf.

Während der Roman inhaltlich zu überzeugen versteht, ist die literarische Umsetzung in fünf Episoden, welche die einschneidenden Erlebnisse im Leben des Anton Steenwijk widerspiegeln, etwas holprig. Mulischs distanzierter Erzählstil fesselt weniger, als aufgrund des an sich spannenden Erzählstrangs zu erwarten wäre. ( )
  schmechi | Dec 30, 2020 |
3.5 Stars ( )
  Zentasy72 | Mar 21, 2020 |
Na vijfentwintig jaar verschijnt ter gelegenheid van de 80ste verjaardag van Harry Mulisch deze eenmalige gebonden jubileumeditie. Het is de vijftigste druk van De Aanslag. De Aanslag kreeg bij verschijning in september 1982 een juichende ontvangst in de pers, was een groot verkoopsucces en vond snel zijn weg naar een groot lezerspubliek in binnen- en buitenland: wereldwijd zijn tot dusverre maar liefst één miljoen exemplaren verkocht. Ook werd de roman door Fons Rademakers verfilmd en met een Oscar bekroond. ( )
  Langshan | Dec 6, 2019 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Mulisch, Harryautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Habers, AnnelenTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Hulsing, MilanCartoonistautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Vries, Edwin deNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Overal was het al dag, maar hier was het nacht, neen, meer dan nacht. - C. Plinius Caecilius Secundus, Epistulae, VI, 16
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Ver, ver weg in de tweede wereldoorlog woonde een zekere Anton Steenwijk met zijn ouders en zijn broer aan de rand van Haarlem.
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It is the winter of 1945, the last dark days of World War II in occupied Holland. A Nazi collaborator, infamous for his cruelty, is assassinated as he rides home on his bicycle. The Germans retaliate by burning down the home of an innocent family; only twelve-year-old Anton survives. Based on actual events, The Assault traces the complex repercussions of this horrific incident on Anton's life. Determined to forget, he opts for a carefully normal existence: a prudent marriage, a successful career, and colorless passivity. But the past keeps breaking through, in relentless memories and in chance encounters with others who were involved in the assassination and its aftermath, until Anton finally learns what really happened that night in 1945--and why.

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