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Babylon Laid Waste: A Journey in the Twilight of the Idols

Babylon Laid Waste: A Journey in the Twilight of the Idols

By: Brigitte Goldstein
Publisher: Pierredor Books
Publication Date: April 14, 2023
ISBN: 978-1-64438-769-6
Reviewed by Diane Lunsford
Review Date: October 6, 2023

Multi-award-winning author Brigitte Goldstein delivers a captivating journey of intrigue, struggles, deceit, and rich characters in her revised edition of Babylon Laid Waste, A Journey in the Twilight of the Idols.

The story begins with the character Artemisia (Misia) Safran receiving a letter (from Berlin) that gives her hope her grandmother may be alive and is in a Jewish hospital in Berlin. Misia knows the tragedies of pre-1946 Berlin, given she is a refugee living in New York. Determined to make the passage back to her native country may not be quite as simple as booking a flight to get there. It may be the post-Nazi era in Germany, and the Reich may have been defeated, but the country is under allied control and civilian travel in or out of the country is essentially forbidden. With the help of a people-smuggling ring, Misia enters the country with forged documents and an assumed name. Once there, the ravaged and war-torn country is everywhere and the people she encounters along the way aren’t necessarily who they appear to be.

Misia manages to slip by US military authorities, however, her troubles are far from over. She meets Major Emil Zweig and unfortunately, her forged papers lack one vital stamp; the ‘Persilschein’; a denazification certificate. The Major places Misia into custody and sends her to a prison for female Nazi criminals. Failing to reach Berlin at this juncture in her journey, it is while she is in the Nazi prison that Misia meets the charismatic Jewish survivor, Franticek Kafka (Kafka). As time marches forward, Misia develops a romantic attraction for Kafka and refuses to listen to her inner warnings that he is not her ‘savior.’ Rather, Misia is about to be thrown into a cacophony of situations and circumstances beyond her control and will ultimately play an integral part in a drama and realize that nothing and no one is who or what they appear to be.

Brigitte Goldstein has written a tremendously captivating body of work that embodies a rich history that is equally complemented by realistic characters. Her command of her pen addresses the travesties and horrors of Nazi Germany and the essence of the political situation post-war. She has an intentional tone with sublime insistence that this impact of historical horror continues to live long after the actual horrors have ended. I have never been to Germany, but to experience the depths of scenery she captures with her pen through vibrant descriptions of opulent castles transported me into the moment many times during this read. One such description that caught my interest was when she was describing Misia’s time at Castle Montsalvat: "...From afar through the gossamer veil of the driving rain, Burg Montsalvat loomed as a facsimile of one of King Ludwig’s fairytale castles in the Bavarian Alps—a multitude of turrets of varying heights, the sylvan setting, the sparkling lake. However, viewed more closely, the structure lost its enchantment and came to resemble a glowering medieval citadel of massive sandstone walls, ramparts, a moat, and a drawbridge..." Superb! Thank you for a phenomenal novel that showcases a horrifying period of time in history.

Quill Says: Babylon Laid Waste: A Journey in the Twilight of the Idols is an epic journey that will appeal to a large and diverse audience as it embodies what it means to ultimately survive the tragedies of war.

For more information on Babylon Laid Waste: A Journey in the Twilight of the Idols, please visit the author's website at:

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