A German Requiem (novel)

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For the orchestral work by Johannes Brahms, see A German Requiem (Brahms). For the short story by Jorge Luis Borges, see Deutsches Requiem (short story).
A German Requiem
A German Requiem Book Cover.jpg
First edition
Author Philip Kerr
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series Berlin Noir
Genre Crime, Detective, Historical mystery
Published 1991 (Viking Press, London)
Media type Print (Hardback and Paperback)
ISBN 978-0-670-83516-4
OCLC 23903789
823/.914 20
LC Class PR6061.E784 G47 1991
Preceded by The Pale Criminal

A German Requiem is a historical detective novel and the last in the Berlin Noir trilogy written by Philip Kerr.

Plot overview[edit]

After spending the latter part of the war in a Soviet prisoner-of-war camp, 1947 sees Bernhard Gunther now married to Kirsten, who seems to be trading sex with U.S. Army officers for scarce goods. Berlin and Vienna were captured by the Red Army, so Germans, former Nazis, Allied occupiers and Gunther have the "Ivans" to contend with. An old comrade from Gunther's days in Berlin, a dirty cop and smuggler named Becker, has been accused and jailed in Vienna for the killing of an American officer and he offers Gunther big money to investigate the case and spring him. The case throws Gunther into the topsy-turvy world of former Nazis hired by the U.S. to spy on the Russians but who of course have certain agendas of their own. His investigation also parallels the filming of The Third Man by a British film crew in the city and what happens to him mirrors the plot of the film in subtle ways. There are more plot twists and betrayals, leading to a shocking climax at a secluded vineyard estate, with brutal Latvian guards, a wine press and other figures from Bernie's past.


  • Bernhard Gunther
  • Max Abs
  • Emil Becker
  • Heinrich Muller
  • Traudl Braunsteiner
  • John Belinsky
  • Martin Albers

Publication history[edit]