Jiri Weil
(1900-1959)

Czech communist writer, joined the Young Communists in 1921 and began writing cultural articles for The Red Right, the CP newspaper. The first to translate Mayakovsky to Czech, he visited the Soviet Union for the first time in 1922, and later from 1933 to 1935 lived in the Soviet Union as a translator for the Comintern. In the later half of the 1930's he was expelled from the Communist Party for his opposition to stalinism. A Jew, he was called up for the "transports" in 1942 after already living under several years of brutal german occupation. Refusing to go to his death without resistance, he faked a suicide and spent the rest of the war living clandestinely in the apartments and other lodgings his acquaintances could help him find. Stayed in Czechoslovakia after the war. A radical writer, the spirit of resistance permeates his works.




Life with a Star: 270 pages, based largely on Weil's own experience as a Jew living under nazi occupation, this novel is a far from normal work. Having lived through those horrific days, Weil paints Jewish Prague vividly and realistically, a Prague that was destroyed by fascism and has never returned. His is a novel of resistance, a passionate argument to never ever give in to injustice and fanaticism, but to always and forever resist, whatever the difficulty involved and even if one has little to live for. This beautiful, radical novel is a tribute to the many who Jews resisted their fate, either armed or unarmed, in big and small ways, they being the reason for the survival of many from the fascist genocide.