To be born in a Mediterranean city like Barcelona from a German mother is a kind of fate you never get rid of. You speak a second language that nobody else around you understands and you are as blond and blue-eyed as any other tourist, so every waiter hands you out the menu in English and pickpockets follow you with their eyes. As I was a teenager I decided that I wanted to understand what lies behind these language and genes that life imposed on me. That’s why I graduated in German Philology at the Universitat de Barcelona, since later on I made a PhD in Romanic Philology on a Greek subject: Civilisation and Barbarism at the Medea-myth. (The Mediterranean was calling me back, I guess!).
Afterwards I devoted myself to literary translation and to the editing of German classic literature (especially Goethe and Thomas Mann), where I learned a lot about the highlights of German culture. But then I became increasingly interested in the German shadows, so I did some research on Nazism, considered from the perspective of the history of mentalities. Many books came out of this new approach of mine to Germany: Diccionario crítico de mitos y símbolos del nazismo [A Critical Dictionary of Nazi Myths and Symbols] (2003), translated into Polish and Rumanian, and El misterioso caso alemán. Un intento de comprender Alemania a través de sus letras [The German Mistery Case: An Attempt at Understanding Germany Through Its Literature] (2007), which is still my favourite. It was followed by an essay about the amazing history of the WWII-song Lili Marleen (translated into German and released in English as E book). My last publication so far has been the historical essay La penúltima frontera. Fugitivos del nazismo en España [The Last But One Frontier: Fugitives from Nazism in Spain] (2011), where I reconstruct the life and experiences of 27 anonymous people, mostly Jewish, that tried to flee Nazi Germany through Franco’s Spain and ended up trapped in Spanish camps and prisons.
Bit by bit I expect to make all my Spanish books available as E books to the English-speaking public. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the English version of my blog. (If you read Spanish, you will find the original blog here).