“Accepting—But Not Accepted”

Anita Desai, Baumgartner’s Bombay (1988)
  • Lilian R. Furst


“Accepting—but not accepted; that was the story of his life, the one thread that ran through it all. In Germany he had been dark—his darkness had marked him the Jew, der Jude. In India he was fair—and that marked him the firanghi [foreigner]. In both lands, the unacceptable” (20). Having come to India from Berlin in his late teens, fifty years later Hugo Baumgartner is still “acutely aware of his outlandishness” (20). Not only was he persecuted in Germany as a Jew; in India he is shunned as a foreigner, and also, ironically, cast not just as a German but often assumed to be a Nazi. He has to explain that he is a Jew.


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© Lilian R. Furst 2005

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  • Lilian R. Furst

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