Franz Fühmann (1922–1984) spent his childhood in the contested Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia and served in the Wehrmacht signal corps from 1941 to 1945. In a Soviet POW camp he embraced socialism and cast his lot with the new German Democratic Republic. Gradually, however, he became an outspoken critic of the East German regime and the unofficial patriarch of a new dissident literature. Fühmann’s work, which spans everything from essays to children’s literature, departed more and more from Socialist Realist norms, blending and bending genres and delving into mythology, Romanticism, and Expressionism. “Down the Mountains” is taken from Das Judenauto, © 1993 Hinstorff Verlag. The Jew Car was published by Seagull Books in 2013.