Author(s): Hubert Mingarelli
One morning, in the dead of winter, three German soldiers are dispatched into the frozen Polish countryside. They have been charged by their commanders to track down and bring back for execution 'one of them' - a Jew. Having flushed out the young man hiding in the woods, they decide to rest in an abandoned house before continuing their journey back to the camp. As they prepare food, they are joined by a passing Pole whose outspoken anti-Semitism adds tension to an already charged atmosphere. Before long, the group's sympathies have splintered as they consider the moral implications of their murderous mission and confront their own consciences to ask themselves: should the Jew be offered food? And, having shared their meal, should he be taken back, or set free?
HUBERT MINGARELLI is the author of numerous novels, short story collections and fiction for young adults. His book Quatre Soldats ([Four Soldiers], Le Seuil, 2003) won the Prix de Medicis. He lives in Grenoble.