The heir


A dazzling history of three generations of a troubled family, masterfully and movingly written

‘I was born on April 13, 1944 in Posen, an old Polish city that for centuries was called Poznan. But when I was born, in a bombing that seemed to announce the end of time, Posen was a German city from which Hitler’s Heerestruppen were sent to the Soviet Union and an endless procession of returned maimed, wounded, and dead refugees.

My family had a part in that drama. This book is about them and the consequences of the war. A wily grandfather, who had become one of the spectacularly richest men in Latvia, but two days before the war broke out, with his Russian wife and four children, he left behind all of his possessions and had to flee to the Netherlands. A naive idealist, he fought on the Eastern Front, in the uniform of the Waffen SS against the Soviets and then went under in the Netherlands. It’s about a mother who fled to Germany after divorcing and about my mother who was not allowed to be and, finally, about me, the grandson, the son, the heir.’

Original title:

Opmaak 1
De stamhouder

October 2014
336 pages
110.000 copies sold

Film rights sold!

 NOMINATED FOR THE ECI LITERATURE PRICE 2015

NOMINATED FOR THE NS PUBLIC PRICE 2015

WINNER OF THE LIBRIS HISTORY PRICE 2015

Alexander Münninghoff (Poznan, 1944) is a journalist and Russia expert. He is the winner of the Prize for Newspaper Journalism (1983) and author of Tropenjaren in Moskou (1991), about his time as a correspondent in the Soviet Union. The Heir, is autobiographical and based on facts and family stories.

English sample available

 Rights sold: Czech Republic (Mlada Fronta)

Press comments:

‘This is One Hundred Years of Solitude from the Low countries. This is Turgenev.’ David van Reybrouck, De Correspondent

‘Masterpiece.’ Tim Krabbé