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Eight months ago, our local University Cinema (https://www.cinecenta.com/) had scheduled a showing of Terrence Malick’s new three hour film, “A Hidden Life”.  There was no chance of seeing this film anywhere else. No major theatre would carry such an unwieldy offering. And I knew it would be unavailable on DVD for a long time; it is still unavailable for purchase.

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It might sound sentimental, even corny. But this is not a greeting card cliché. The words are spoken in a Nazi prison cell in a conversation between two men awaiting execution who have already survived the excruciating torture of Gestapo “interrogation”.

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Hans Fallada’s novel Iron Gustav: A Berlin Family Chronicle was first published in Germany in 1938.

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In the spring of 1944, the life of the German novelist Hans Fallada was descending into chaos.

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Near the end of his sprawling, at times lyrical and at times infuriating epic novel, Iron Gustav: A Berlin Family Chronicle, Hans Fallada incorporates into his narrative the true story of a Berlin horse-and-buggy cab driver who in 1928 drove his horse-drawn carriage from Berlin to Paris and back.

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In his third novel Little Man, What Now? published in Germany in 1932, Hans Fallada tells the story of a impoverished young couple living in depression-era Berlin in the early 1930s.

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At the same time I was writing my reflections on bread, I was reading Hans Fallada’s prison diary, A Stranger In My Own Country.

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The final piece of wisdom for living well in the present to prepare better for the future that I discern in Hans Fallada’s Wolf Among Wolves may seem counter-intuitive. But it is profoundly true that we will prepare better for whatever the future brings, when we take seriously in the present the need to:

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The guidance I discern for living well in the present to prepare to live better in the future, in Hans Fallada’s Wolf Among Wolves continues with the wise advice to:

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Writing in the mid 1930’s in Germany, novelist Hans Fallada was forced to tell his stories cautiously.

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