A haunting classic from the author of All Quiet on the Western Front, Shadows in Paradise reveals the deepest scars of the men and women who experienced the Holocaust.
 
After years of hiding and surviving near death in a concentration camp, Ross is finally safe. Now living in New York City among old friends, far from Europe’s chilling atrocities, Ross soon meets Natasha, a beautiful model and fellow émigré, a warm heart to help him forget his cold memories.
 
Yet even as the war draws to its violent close, Ross cannot find peace. Demons still pursue him. Whether they are ghosts from the past or the guilt of surviving, he does not know. For he is only beginning to understand that freedom is far from easy—and that paradise, however perfect, has a price.
 
“The world has a great writer in Erich Maria Remarque. He is a craftsman of unquestionably first rank, a man who can bend language to his will. Whether he writes of men or of inanimate nature, his touch is sensitive, firm, and sure.”—The New York Times Book Review
ERICH MARIA REMARQUE was born in Germany in 1898 and drafted into the German army during World War I. His novel All Quiet on the Western Front was published in 1928 and was an instant best seller. When the Nazis came to power, Remarque left Germany for Switzerland; he lost his German citizenship, his books were burned, and his films banned. He went to the United States in 1938 and became a citizen in 1947. He later lived in Switzerland with his second wife, the actress Paulette Goddard. He died in September 1970. View titles by Erich Maria Remarque
I HAD ARRIVED a few months before on a freighter from Lisbon and knew little English—it was as though I had been dropped deaf and dumb from another planet. And indeed America was another planet, for Europe was at war.
 
Besides, my papers were not in order. Thanks to a series of miracles I had entered the country with a valid American visa; but the name on the passport was not mine. The immigration authorities had had their suspicions and held me on Ellis Island. After six weeks they had given me a residence permit good for three months, during which time I was supposed to obtain a visa for some other country. I was familiar with this kind of thing from Europe. I had been living this way for years, not from month to month, but from day to day. And, as a German refugee, I had been officially dead since 1933. Not to be a fugitive for three whole months was in itself a dream come true. And living with a dead man’s passport had long ceased to strike me as strange—on the contrary, it seemed fitting and proper. I had inherited the passport in Frankfurt. Since the name of the man who had given it to me just before he died had been Ross, my name was now Ross. I had almost forgotten my real one. You can forget a lot of things when your life is at stake.
 
On Ellis Island I had met a Turk who had spent some time in America ten years before. I didn’t know why they were not readmitting him, and I didn’t ask. I had seen too many people deported from any number of countries merely because some official questionnaire did not cover their case. The Turk gave me the address of a Russian living in New York who, on his flight from Russia twenty years before, had been helped by the Turk’s father. The Turk had been to see him some years before, but didn’t know if he was still alive. The day they released me from the island I took a chance and looked him up. Why not? I had been living like that for years. Lucky breaks were a fugitive’s only hope.
 
The Russian, who called himself Melikov, worked in a small run-down hotel not far from Broadway. He took me right in. As an old refugee, he saw at a glance what I needed: lodging and a job. Lodging was no problem; he had an extra bed, which he set up in his room. A job was a little more complicated. My tourist visa didn’t entitle me to work. Anything I found would have to be clandestine. That, too, was known to me from Europe and didn’t bother me particularly. I still had a little money.
 
“Have you any idea what you could do for a living?” Melikov asked me.
 
“I last worked in France as a salesman for a dealer in dubious paintings and phony antiques.”
 
“Do you know anything about the business?”
 
“Not much; some of the usual dodges.”
 
“Where did you learn that?”
 
“I spent two years in the Brussels Museum.”
 
“Working?” Melikov asked in surprise.
 
“No, hiding.”
 
“From the Germans?”
 
“From the Germans who had occupied Belgium.”
 
“Two years? And they didn’t find you?”
 
“No,” I said. “Not me. But after two years they caught the man who was hiding me.”
 
Melikov looked at me in amazement. “And you got away?”
 
“Yes.”
 
“Any news of the other fellow?”
 
“The usual. They sent him to a camp.”
 
“A German?”
 
“A Belgian. The curator of the museum.”
 
Melikov nodded. “How could you stay there so long without being discovered? Didn’t anybody ever visit the museum?”
 
“Oh yes. In the daytime he locked me up in a storeroom in the cellar. After closing time he brought me food and let me out for the night. I had to stay in the museum, but at least I was out of the cellar. Of course I couldn’t use any light.”
 
“Did any of the employees know about you?”
 
“No. The storeroom had no windows. I had to be very quiet when anyone came down into the cellar. My main worry was sneezing.”
 
“Is that how they discovered you?”
 
“No. Somebody noticed that the curator often stayed in the museum at closing time—or went back later.”
 
“I see,” said Melikov. “Could you read?”
 
“Only at night. During the summer or when the moon was shining.”
 
“But at night you could wander around the museum and see the pictures?”
 
“As long as there was light enough.”
 
Suddenly Melikov smiled. “When I was escaping from Russia, I spent six days lying under a woodpile on the Finnish border. When I came out, I thought it had been much longer. At least two weeks. But I was young then; the time passes more slowly when you’re young.” And then abruptly: “Are you hungry?”
 
“Yes,” I said. “Starving, in fact.”
 
“I thought so. They’ve just let you out. That always makes a man hungry. We’ll get something to eat at the pharmacy.”
 
“Pharmacy?”
 
“Sure, the drugstore. One of this country’s oddities. They sell you aspirin and they feed you.”
 
I looked down the row of people hastily eating at the long counter. “What do you eat in a place like this?” I asked.
 
“A hamburger. The poor man’s stand-by. Steak costs too much for the common man.”
 
“What did you do in the daytime in the museum?” Melikov asked. “To keep from going crazy?”
 
“I waited for evening. Of course I did everything in my power to keep from thinking of the danger I was in. I’d been running from place to place for several years, first in Germany for a year, then in other countries. I shut out every thought of the mistakes I had made. Regret corrodes the soul; it’s a luxury you can afford only in peaceful times. I said all the French I knew over to myself; I gave myself lessons. Then I began exploring the museum at night, looking at the pictures, imprinting them on my memory. Soon I knew them all by heart. Then in the daytime, in the darkness of my storeroom, I’d call them to mind. Not at random, but systematically, picture by picture. Sometimes I’d spend whole days on a single painting. Now and then I broke off in despair, but I always started in again. This memory exercise made me feel that I was improving myself. I’d stopped knocking my head against the wall; now I was climbing a flight of stairs. Do you see what I mean?”
 
“You kept moving,” said Melikov. “And you had an aim. That saved you.”
 
“I lived one whole summer with Cézannes and a few Degas—imaginary pictures of course and imaginary comparisons. But comparisons, nevertheless, and that made them a challenge. I memorized the colors and the compositions, though I’d never seen the colors by daylight. The pictures I memorized and compared were moonlight Cézannes and twilight Degas. Later on, I found art books in the library; I huddled under the windows and studied them. The world they gave me was a world of specters, but still a world.”
 
“Wasn’t the museum guarded?”
 
“Only in the daytime. At night they locked it up. Which was lucky for me.”
 
“And unlucky for the man who brought you your meals.”
 
I looked at Melikov. “And unlucky for the man who’d hidden me,” I answered calmly. I could see that he meant no harm; he wasn’t chiding me, but merely stating the facts.
 
“Don’t get any ideas about clandestine dishwashing,” he said. “That’s romantic nonsense. Besides, the unions won’t stand for it these days. How long can you hold out without working?”
 
“Not very long. How much is this meal going to cost?”
 
“A dollar and a half. Prices have gone up since the war started.”
 
“There’s no war here.”
 
“Oh yes, there is,” said Melikov. “Which is luck for you again. They need men. That’ll make it easier for you to find something.”
 
“I’ve got to leave the country in three months.”
 
Melikov laughed and screwed up his little eyes. “The U.S. is a big place. And there’s a war on. Another stroke of luck for you. Where were you born?”
 
“According to my passport, in Hamburg. Actually in Hanover.”
 
“They can’t deport you to either of those places. But they could put you in an internment camp.”
 
I shrugged my shoulders. “I was in one of those in France.”
 
“Escaped?”
 
“Not exactly. I just walked out. In the general confusion of the defeat.”
 
Melikov nodded. “I was in France myself. In the general confusion of a supposed victory. In 1918. I’d come from Russia by way of Finland and Germany. The first wave of latter-day migrations.”
 
“The world has a great writer in Erich Maria Remarque. He is a craftsman of unquestionably first rank, a man who can bend language to his will. Whether he writes of men or of inanimate nature, his touch is sensitive, firm, and sure.”—The New York Times Book Review

About

A haunting classic from the author of All Quiet on the Western Front, Shadows in Paradise reveals the deepest scars of the men and women who experienced the Holocaust.
 
After years of hiding and surviving near death in a concentration camp, Ross is finally safe. Now living in New York City among old friends, far from Europe’s chilling atrocities, Ross soon meets Natasha, a beautiful model and fellow émigré, a warm heart to help him forget his cold memories.
 
Yet even as the war draws to its violent close, Ross cannot find peace. Demons still pursue him. Whether they are ghosts from the past or the guilt of surviving, he does not know. For he is only beginning to understand that freedom is far from easy—and that paradise, however perfect, has a price.
 
“The world has a great writer in Erich Maria Remarque. He is a craftsman of unquestionably first rank, a man who can bend language to his will. Whether he writes of men or of inanimate nature, his touch is sensitive, firm, and sure.”—The New York Times Book Review

Author

ERICH MARIA REMARQUE was born in Germany in 1898 and drafted into the German army during World War I. His novel All Quiet on the Western Front was published in 1928 and was an instant best seller. When the Nazis came to power, Remarque left Germany for Switzerland; he lost his German citizenship, his books were burned, and his films banned. He went to the United States in 1938 and became a citizen in 1947. He later lived in Switzerland with his second wife, the actress Paulette Goddard. He died in September 1970. View titles by Erich Maria Remarque

Excerpt

I HAD ARRIVED a few months before on a freighter from Lisbon and knew little English—it was as though I had been dropped deaf and dumb from another planet. And indeed America was another planet, for Europe was at war.
 
Besides, my papers were not in order. Thanks to a series of miracles I had entered the country with a valid American visa; but the name on the passport was not mine. The immigration authorities had had their suspicions and held me on Ellis Island. After six weeks they had given me a residence permit good for three months, during which time I was supposed to obtain a visa for some other country. I was familiar with this kind of thing from Europe. I had been living this way for years, not from month to month, but from day to day. And, as a German refugee, I had been officially dead since 1933. Not to be a fugitive for three whole months was in itself a dream come true. And living with a dead man’s passport had long ceased to strike me as strange—on the contrary, it seemed fitting and proper. I had inherited the passport in Frankfurt. Since the name of the man who had given it to me just before he died had been Ross, my name was now Ross. I had almost forgotten my real one. You can forget a lot of things when your life is at stake.
 
On Ellis Island I had met a Turk who had spent some time in America ten years before. I didn’t know why they were not readmitting him, and I didn’t ask. I had seen too many people deported from any number of countries merely because some official questionnaire did not cover their case. The Turk gave me the address of a Russian living in New York who, on his flight from Russia twenty years before, had been helped by the Turk’s father. The Turk had been to see him some years before, but didn’t know if he was still alive. The day they released me from the island I took a chance and looked him up. Why not? I had been living like that for years. Lucky breaks were a fugitive’s only hope.
 
The Russian, who called himself Melikov, worked in a small run-down hotel not far from Broadway. He took me right in. As an old refugee, he saw at a glance what I needed: lodging and a job. Lodging was no problem; he had an extra bed, which he set up in his room. A job was a little more complicated. My tourist visa didn’t entitle me to work. Anything I found would have to be clandestine. That, too, was known to me from Europe and didn’t bother me particularly. I still had a little money.
 
“Have you any idea what you could do for a living?” Melikov asked me.
 
“I last worked in France as a salesman for a dealer in dubious paintings and phony antiques.”
 
“Do you know anything about the business?”
 
“Not much; some of the usual dodges.”
 
“Where did you learn that?”
 
“I spent two years in the Brussels Museum.”
 
“Working?” Melikov asked in surprise.
 
“No, hiding.”
 
“From the Germans?”
 
“From the Germans who had occupied Belgium.”
 
“Two years? And they didn’t find you?”
 
“No,” I said. “Not me. But after two years they caught the man who was hiding me.”
 
Melikov looked at me in amazement. “And you got away?”
 
“Yes.”
 
“Any news of the other fellow?”
 
“The usual. They sent him to a camp.”
 
“A German?”
 
“A Belgian. The curator of the museum.”
 
Melikov nodded. “How could you stay there so long without being discovered? Didn’t anybody ever visit the museum?”
 
“Oh yes. In the daytime he locked me up in a storeroom in the cellar. After closing time he brought me food and let me out for the night. I had to stay in the museum, but at least I was out of the cellar. Of course I couldn’t use any light.”
 
“Did any of the employees know about you?”
 
“No. The storeroom had no windows. I had to be very quiet when anyone came down into the cellar. My main worry was sneezing.”
 
“Is that how they discovered you?”
 
“No. Somebody noticed that the curator often stayed in the museum at closing time—or went back later.”
 
“I see,” said Melikov. “Could you read?”
 
“Only at night. During the summer or when the moon was shining.”
 
“But at night you could wander around the museum and see the pictures?”
 
“As long as there was light enough.”
 
Suddenly Melikov smiled. “When I was escaping from Russia, I spent six days lying under a woodpile on the Finnish border. When I came out, I thought it had been much longer. At least two weeks. But I was young then; the time passes more slowly when you’re young.” And then abruptly: “Are you hungry?”
 
“Yes,” I said. “Starving, in fact.”
 
“I thought so. They’ve just let you out. That always makes a man hungry. We’ll get something to eat at the pharmacy.”
 
“Pharmacy?”
 
“Sure, the drugstore. One of this country’s oddities. They sell you aspirin and they feed you.”
 
I looked down the row of people hastily eating at the long counter. “What do you eat in a place like this?” I asked.
 
“A hamburger. The poor man’s stand-by. Steak costs too much for the common man.”
 
“What did you do in the daytime in the museum?” Melikov asked. “To keep from going crazy?”
 
“I waited for evening. Of course I did everything in my power to keep from thinking of the danger I was in. I’d been running from place to place for several years, first in Germany for a year, then in other countries. I shut out every thought of the mistakes I had made. Regret corrodes the soul; it’s a luxury you can afford only in peaceful times. I said all the French I knew over to myself; I gave myself lessons. Then I began exploring the museum at night, looking at the pictures, imprinting them on my memory. Soon I knew them all by heart. Then in the daytime, in the darkness of my storeroom, I’d call them to mind. Not at random, but systematically, picture by picture. Sometimes I’d spend whole days on a single painting. Now and then I broke off in despair, but I always started in again. This memory exercise made me feel that I was improving myself. I’d stopped knocking my head against the wall; now I was climbing a flight of stairs. Do you see what I mean?”
 
“You kept moving,” said Melikov. “And you had an aim. That saved you.”
 
“I lived one whole summer with Cézannes and a few Degas—imaginary pictures of course and imaginary comparisons. But comparisons, nevertheless, and that made them a challenge. I memorized the colors and the compositions, though I’d never seen the colors by daylight. The pictures I memorized and compared were moonlight Cézannes and twilight Degas. Later on, I found art books in the library; I huddled under the windows and studied them. The world they gave me was a world of specters, but still a world.”
 
“Wasn’t the museum guarded?”
 
“Only in the daytime. At night they locked it up. Which was lucky for me.”
 
“And unlucky for the man who brought you your meals.”
 
I looked at Melikov. “And unlucky for the man who’d hidden me,” I answered calmly. I could see that he meant no harm; he wasn’t chiding me, but merely stating the facts.
 
“Don’t get any ideas about clandestine dishwashing,” he said. “That’s romantic nonsense. Besides, the unions won’t stand for it these days. How long can you hold out without working?”
 
“Not very long. How much is this meal going to cost?”
 
“A dollar and a half. Prices have gone up since the war started.”
 
“There’s no war here.”
 
“Oh yes, there is,” said Melikov. “Which is luck for you again. They need men. That’ll make it easier for you to find something.”
 
“I’ve got to leave the country in three months.”
 
Melikov laughed and screwed up his little eyes. “The U.S. is a big place. And there’s a war on. Another stroke of luck for you. Where were you born?”
 
“According to my passport, in Hamburg. Actually in Hanover.”
 
“They can’t deport you to either of those places. But they could put you in an internment camp.”
 
I shrugged my shoulders. “I was in one of those in France.”
 
“Escaped?”
 
“Not exactly. I just walked out. In the general confusion of the defeat.”
 
Melikov nodded. “I was in France myself. In the general confusion of a supposed victory. In 1918. I’d come from Russia by way of Finland and Germany. The first wave of latter-day migrations.”
 

Praise

“The world has a great writer in Erich Maria Remarque. He is a craftsman of unquestionably first rank, a man who can bend language to his will. Whether he writes of men or of inanimate nature, his touch is sensitive, firm, and sure.”—The New York Times Book Review

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