The Misunderstanding’ (2017), a dramatic story about a murder in my German-Jewish family in the ill-pregnant year 1933 in Germany
In the idyllic East Frisian harbor town of Weener, Wolf is murdered in September 1933 just before the synagogue by the unworldly Joël Pinto. Everyone is convinced that not great-uncle Wolf, but great-nephew Albert de Jonge should have been the victim. After all, there was a long-standing feud between him and the killer. In the family stories this event was therefore always called: ‘The murder of the wrong person.’
When the author asked his mother what was the reason for the feud between Albert and Pinto, she always replied with a shrug: “Ah, Albert was a bully, but there was nothing evil about it and Pinto was just a “knife jogger Hund”.
But closer examination reveals that nothing turns out to be as it initially seemed. The idyllic town had not been idyllic at all since Hitler took power. The black cloud of rising Nazism and the threat of destruction hangs over the entire drama.
Slowly it becomes clear to the writer that little remains of the reality he thought he knew. Was Pinto such a “messjoggener Hund”? Was Wolf as nice as ever portrayed by the author’s mother? Was Wolf actually ‘the wrong one’? And what about Albert? And what happened to Pinto and Albert? The story of the murder and everything surrounding it turns out to have a completely different background than the writer always thought.