Life And Fate, Lieutenant Peter Bach

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Life and Fate: Lieutenant Peter Bach

By Vasily Grossman

Peter Bach, a German officer, is wounded and treated at a military field hospital in November 1942. The brief respite from the fighting gives him time to contemplate his secret affair with a Russian girl, Zina, an affair that he roughly denies when confronted with it.

Dramatised for radio by Jonathan Myerson.

Lieutenant Peter Bach....Geoffrey Streatfeild

Gerne....Lloyd Thomas

Fresser....Michael Shelford

The Goalkeeper....Tony Bell

Zina....Jessica Raine

Hospital Sister....Christine Kavanagh

Hospital Orderly....David Seddon

Original music by John Hardy with Rob Whitehead

Directed and Produced by Alison Hindell

Kenneth Branagh, Janet Suzman, David Tennant, Greta Scacchi and Harriet Walter star in this eight hour dramatisation of Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman. This epic saga takes over every drama strand on Radio 4 this week.

Set against the ferocious Battle of Stalingrad, Life and Fate is a sweeping historical tale that charts the fate of both a nation and a family in the turmoil of war and is increasingly hailed as the most important Russian novel of the 20th century. Its comparison of Stalinism with Nazism was considered by Soviet authorities to be so dangerous that the manuscript itself was arrested and Grossman was told that it would not be published for at least 200 years. He died in 1964, never knowing that his book would be smuggled to the West and eventually published in 1980.

This afternoon: Life and Fate: Novikov's Story [link]

Tomorrow: Life and Fate: A Hero of the Soviet Union [link] and Life and Fate: Krymov in Moscow [link].

In a German field hospital, a young man struggles to make sense of the war.