May 2005 — TUCSON, Ariz. — Probably the darkest chapter in human history, the Holocaust, is the focus of a new work of historical fiction by Tucson-based author Mathias B. Freese. The culmination of four decades of reflection and introspection, the author’s therapeutic work with Holocaust survivors, and his own experiences as an American Jew — The i Tetralogy captures the internal destruction and the far-reaching effects of this epochal event. In The i Tetralogy, Freese creates a harrowing portrayal of the Holocaust, providing a powerful perspectives into the lives of its victims and perpetrators, as well as the legacy it has left behind.
The novel is composed of four distinct volumes: i, I Am Gunther, Gunther’s Lament and Gunther Redux. The first volume, i, is told from the point of view of a death camp prisoner who suffers gross indignities and dehumanization of every physical and psychological kind. The second volume, I Am Gunther, graphically depicts a Nazi gutrd as he rationalizes the torture and cruelty of prisoners under his command.
Gunther’s Lament follows the old unregenerate Nazi, Gunther,, to a suburban town on Long Island a half a century later. In his twisted, self-sorrowing mind, Gunther continues his own private war with the world at hand. In the final volume, Gunther Redux, Gunther’s son Conrad wrestles with the chilling facts and ramifications of his father’s past.
Deftly weaving a bleak account of the Holocaust’s devastation with an urgent appeal for the awakening of humanity, Freese poses questions about the Holocaust and civilization itself: Are we forever genetically conditioned by the influence of evil? Can we morally master this cruel knowledge with which we live? Can we find a meaning in it? The i Tetralogy forbids the reader to forget, to sanitize or ignore the Holocaust, instead urging the reader to understand the nature of evil, and to struggle to prevent anything like this from happening again.
About the Author
Mathias B. Freese received his BA and MS Ed. from Queens College, New York and his MSW from Stony Brook University. He is a retired psychotherapist and English teacher. An award-winning writer and member of the Society of Southwestern Authors and MENSA, Freese is a volunteer lecturer at Holocaust centers, and leads writing workshops and seminars on experiential and psycho-spiritual approaches to inner awareness.
Advanced Praise for The i Tetralogy:
Beautifully conceived and written. . .filled with insights. It speaks of the humanity that emerges out of despair.
—Marianne Kador, ACSW, Psychotherapist
Exceptionally disturbing and disquieting. . .The perspective is unique, the power of imagination staggering.
—Mahin Hassibi, MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, New York Medical College
A book of undying artistic integrity.”
—Arizona Daily Sun