edited July 2014 in Root
Hi everbody,

and thank you very much for this website. I use to check in here every now and then to read the interesting comments and it is always a pleasure.

I am currently reading "A Man Without Breath" and I have been thinking about something that I first noticed while reading "Prague Fatale". Instead of using the word "Führer" when talking about Hitler, the term "Leader" is more often used. Now, I am aware that this is a correct translation of the term in English. But, for example in "A Man Without Breath" - in the beginning of the book, Bernie is offered some coffee by his boss. The boss, judge Goldsche, tells Bernie that it was is the "Putzer" who has provided the coffee. ( As I understand it, a "Putzer" is a servant or orderly.) So here, the term is not translated. Later in the book, when Bernie is in Russia, Colonel Ahrens tells Bernie that the "Leader" is coming to the visit the front. Here, maybe it would have been more natural to not translate the word, but to keep the term "Führer"? (I must confess that I haven´t looked in all the books in the series, so I don´t know if it runs through the complete series.)

Maybe it is because I don´t have the English language as my mother tongue - I´m from Scandinavia - and that is why I have noticed it. But if I ever get the chance to meet Mr Kerr, I would like to ask him about it!

Once again, a big thank you for the website and to all who contributes!

All the best,


  • edited August 2014
    I am just in the middle of reading "A Man Without Breath" also and enjoying it greatly but was also very surprised at the use of the word "Leader" instead of "Fuhrer". I must of read hundreds of books fiction and non fiction about the 2nd world war and have never seen Hitler referred to as such. It does annoy me every time I read it in the book! I thought it may be to appeal to the American market as a lot of authors these days seem to do with Americanisms.
  • I noticed the use of the word "Leader" as well. I think it adds verisimilitude to the novels. Certainly Bernie, being a German speaker, would react to the title Fuhrer in the same way an English speaker would react to the title Leader if it was applied to an American or British head of state if he were the head of a one party state. In virtually every American English book, movie, or TV show I've ever seen, Hitler has been referred to as "Fuhrer." This makes it seem like a sort of honorific like Kaiser, Czar, Chancellor, or President, rather than simply a word. Translation, I think, greatly adds to the period flavor that Kerr is trying to create.
  • A very good question for PK and his editors - why the hell did you decide to forgo a Glossary of Terms? This would have been another opportunity to inject comments and cross-references to deepen the reader's understanding of this highly complex part of history. And why the inconsistency of jumping between using German terms and phrases (e.g. the "Putzer" (cleaner, bat man) mentioned above - and their English translations?
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