Hans von Trotha: Pollaks Arm (Pollak’s Arm)

The latest addition to my website is Hans von Trotha‘s Pollaks Arm (Pollak’s Arm). Ludwig Pollak was a very respected Jewish Austro-Czech classical archeologist and dealer, who spent much of his adult life in Rome and is best-known for finding the missing arm of the famous sculpture Laocoön and His Sons. This book recounts the last few hours before he was arrested by the SS with his family in September 1943 and sent to Auschwitz where they were all murdered. A German called only K, who was working in the Vatican, was sent to pick him up. He failed. Pollak talked for a long time, telling his full and very fascinating story (the bulk of the novel), feeling that he has to tell the story so that he will be remembered. He also felt that he was carrying the burden of his people. We learn of his successes and the problems he had and of K’s devastation at not being able to help him.

Leave a Reply