1 General information:
a. Title: The Boys From Brazil
b. Writer: Ira Levin
c. Writer English/American: Ira Levin is an American writer
d. First published: 1976
In September of 1974 there is a meeting between six former SS-men and Mengele.
Mengele tells the men they have been selected to carry out a special assignment.
He says against the men that they have to kill 94 men in different countries. He doesn’t tell the reason.
When the meeting is ended doctor Mengele asks the staff of the restaurant if someone asked them to listen to their conversation. One woman did, but she denies. Dr. Mengele offered her a lot of money and she tells the truth. She tells him she had recorded the conversation and gave the tape to a man called Hunter. Hunter’s real name was Barry. Barry went to his hotel and called Liebermann in the hope he would help him. Before Barry can play the tape, Mengele brakes in to his room and kills him. Mengele found out his hiding place, by checking all hotels in the area.
Yakov Liebermann doubts the information given by Barry. Barry told him 94 65-year-old men were going to be killed. Liebermann knows someone who has access to the main office of the international Press. He promises he will send all newspaper cuttings concerned with the deaths of 65-year-old men to Liebermann.. In the meanwhile Liebermann tries to figure out what the victims may have in common to make them targets to the Nazis.
Dõring, one of the ninety-four men, was killed by one of the SS-men.
Lieberman wants to find out the reason of the killings, that’s why he asks a group of young German people to help him understand the problem during a conference. They fail to help him any further.
The killings have started and Liebermann receives the clipping with the names of the sixty-four to sixty-six year old men being killed in the period after the phone-call.
Liebermann gets a phone-call from Klaus van Palmen, one of the young German people at the conference. Klaus thinks the problem Liebermann told them wasn’t made up. He wants to help him. Liebermann has no choice, so they become partners.
Liebermann takes a good look at the clippings. He makes a selection of possible and unpossible clippings. Thanks to the clippings Liebermann is going to visit Frau Doring, but it leads to nothing.
Liebermann and some friend are checking some other widows of men who were killed. Liebermann goes on a speaking tour in America. He happens to get in touch with another widow, whose husband has been killed. When he visits her, he finds that her son is exactly identical to the Doring boy.
This made Liebermann think. The widows were both in their early fourties and their husbands were both 65.
Lieberman discovered the American boy was adopted. This was done through the agency of a German woman, who had been a Nazi too. She was now in prison. Liebermann makes a deal with the woman. He gives her some information about her trial and she tells Liebermann everything she knows. She told him that she arranged adoptions of boy babies supplied by a German organization in Brazil. She gives him some names of families who adopted her boys from Brazil. Some of them were already on Liebermann’s list of killed people. Now he knows the date Wheelock will be killed.
Klaus has done some research too. He finds the way those boys could get the same look. They are cloned.
Liebermann’s heart almost stopped when he heard those clones could also be made of death men. He figured out those replicas had to be little Hilters. Liebermann wants to inform the government, but he realizes this is going to take too long. He calls in the help of the Young Jewish Defenders. They agree to meet at the house of Wheelock.
The bosses of the Nazi organisation are calling their six killers back, their risk has become to great. They know what Liebermann discovered. Mengele gets very mad. He now wants to kill Liebermann himself. He wanted to kill him at the hotel, but he couldn’t, Liebermann wasn’t coming. Mengele knows about the meeting between Wheelock and Liebermann.
Mengele gets at the house of Wheelock first. He says he is Liebermann and then kills Wheelock. He now takes in the place of Wheelock.
Liebermann is going to Wheelock. Finally arrived at the house he thinks everything is O.K.
But after a while Mengele gets his gun and tells the whole plan. The boys, who were meant to be new Hitlers, had to be raised in the same conditions as Hitler was. Liebermann knows there are some dogs behind a door. At a certain time he opens the door and with a bit of luck the dogs attack Mengele, but don’t kill him. Mengele shoots sometimes at Liebermann. Then he loses the gun. After a while the son of Wheelock comes in. He first doesn’t know what to do. After a while he is convinced Mengele is a grazy lunatic and orders the dog to kill him. Shortly after Gorin’s men arrive and take Liebermann to hospital.
When he is recovered he and Goring have a conversation about he steps to be taken with the Little Hitlers. Goring wants to kill them. Liebermann wants to give them a chance, he does not want to become a child-killer. He goes to the toilet and flushes the names of the families down the toilet. Goring gets mad and Liebermann has to leave.
One of the Hitler boys is drawing a picture of a large crowd cheering a great leader.
Dr. Mengele made ninety-four boys with Hitler’s genes in Brazil.
Those boys were adopted by parents from America and Europe. Because those 94 boys with Hitler’s genes came from Brazil, the book is called boys from Brazil.
The story is situated in the United States, Austria and other countries where men live who Mengele wants to kill. The story takes also place in Brazil, where many former top Nazi’s could escape their punishment. The story takes place in the year 1973 till 1974. The book is in chronological order, so the writer doesn’t use flashback and flashforwards.
There are two main characters. I put them in the right order:
1 Yakov Liebermann: Yakov is sixty years old. His health is failing. Liebermann is in charge of a special organization, that has it’s headquarters in Vienna.
He hunts for Nazi criminals. He wants to give an example to the rest of the world. Liebermann is a very kind man, he tries to solve al the problems without using any violence. Another example, at the end of the book he don’t want to kill little Hitler-boys. Liebermann is based on a real person. I think Liebermann is a round character, but he doesn’t change much throughout the story.
2 Dr. Mengele: Mengele, who is also based on a real person, was a doctor in Auschwitz during the world war. He experimented on human prisoners. He is a very cruel person, who will do anything to make sure a new Hitler will stand up, even when he has to kill 94 men to accomplish his mission. Mengele was the one who made the clones of Hitler. He doesn’t show any character development.
The theme of this book is: Should we use violence when it seems to be a quick solution to a very dangerous situation? Gorin and Mengele are using violence, but Liebermann stays kind and doesn’t want to use any violence.
I think the writer does also try to make clear the fear of science being used for bad things. In the book he uses the example of Mengele using science for the reproduction of 94 young Hitlers, it looks very unreal, but cloning has become a reality. (Sheep Dolly)
8 My own opinion:
I enjoyed reading the book, it was not difficult to read. During the whole story I wanted to know how the story continued, so it was certainly not boring. The English that is used in the book is very simple. I understood every line in the book.
The book was very exciting, because a lot of things happened all the time.
Most of the book is written in the view of Liebermann. It wasn’t difficult for me to feel with him, what makes the book more pleasant to read.
I can’t think of any negative point of the book.
Parts of the book I liked most:
- Chapter VII: Liebermann is going to Wheelock. Mengele says to Liebermann that he’s Wheelock. I was curious how Liebermann would get away.
- Chapter IX: I think the end was pretty good. I now want to know what became of the boys and whether the boy in the last chapter was becoming a Hitler or not.
There was not one part in the book I didn’t enjoy.
The book made me think, because the writer took a number of well-known events. If everything happened the way the writer describes, all these things could have happened in real life.
I can imagine some people can learn something from this book, because it contains many social questions, some of them are even recent, even though the book was written in the seventies. But I already had an opinion about these questions. I think violence is the last thing to use, and cloning can be used if it helps people (medical care), but not for food or the pleasure of people.
Reading the book took me about 11 hours. I really liked reading the book.
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