During the course of an hour in July 1944, bombers fly over an unnamed German city, while down below, civilians live out their last days. First published in 1956, and now available in English for the first time,Paybackpaints a savage and unflinching picture of the realities of warfare for ordinary men and women.
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air-mine anti-aircraft asked barrel Bertha Three blood bombers bombs breath bunker burned ceiling chest Chikin child chin Chudovo cigarette concrete crash cried darkness dead Dessy doctor door earth engineer ensign explosions eyes face fans hummed feet felt fingers fire flak tower flames flew floor German girl glass going graveyard grew ground gun commander gunner hand head helmet Herr Cheovski hung iron Iron Cross Joseph Roth lance corporal laughed Ledig legs lieutenant loader looked mechanic metal tooth Michael Hofmann mouth moved Nevsky Prospekt Nikolai Payback plane prosthesis pulled pushed Rastyeva reached replied roared roof rubble Schnapps scream shock wave shook shoulder shouted silence smoke soldier someone sounded splinters sprayed stairs Stalin Organ stared started stepped stones stood stopped strap Strenehen struck submachine gun suddenly thought took trousers turned voice walked wall whispered whistled widow wireless operator Wolfgang Koeppen woman