Peter Blauner's The Final Testament is set in 1938 London, where Sigmund Freud is slowly succumbing to cancer while rushing to finish his final, most controversial work on the origins of Judaism. When a Nazi named Surewald visits Freud and pressures him for assistance in publishing a vitriolic anti-Semitic manuscript, Freud attempts to extricate himself the only way he knows how: through the power of psychoanalysis.
Robert Blumenfeld ratchets up the tension between Freud and Surewald with his confident and urgent delivery of Blauner's wildly imaginative, strange-but-true novella in this mesmerizing listen.
It is autumn of 1938 in London. The Nazis have invaded Austria and are seizing Jewish assets, rumors of the Dachau concentration camp are clouding the air and, despite the cancer ravaging his body, an exiled Dr. Sigmund Freud spends his days anxiously clutching a Cuban cigar between his jaw and a large dental prosthesis he calls “The Monster.”
He is doing just this when his daughter interrupts his forbidden indulgence with a scolding and news of a foreboding visit from SS Officer Anton Sauerwald. Rather than dragging the doctor into an interrogation room or confiscating the few luxuries Freud was able to secretly take away from Vienna, Sauerwald brings something far more dangerous into the household: a book more deadly than any weapon.
Peter Blauner’s The Final Testament reminds us of the power of the written word and weighs the importance of intellectual pursuit against the question of moral responsibility in a time of panic and decay.