In Love and War

2008, Tammi

In Love and War is a story about the Roma in Germany during the Second World War. Like the Jews, the Roma had the same faith in the Holocaust. Only few survived from the concentration camps or escaped the persecution.

Main characters of the novel are the people in the tribe of Dromal, his daughter Carinja and Kastalo, an orphan pickpocket raised by streets. The poor and rootless Kastalo is not a good enough fiancé for the Gypsy princess Carinja. Emotions burn like fire beneath the surface and love is tested again and again when the lovers flee from the tribe and are sent to concentration camp.

When the mighty Dromal fades, young Kastalo rises as a leader in the tribe. The man is trusted and appreciated. When the war comes to an end and the Allies arrive to Germany, the tribe of Dromal is just a memory of itself. Carinja’s love towards Kastalo is evident but can it ever be approved?

“The crazy love that Kastalo has for the Gipsy princess Carinja belongs without a doubt amongst the greatest love stories. With few dramaturgical moves it could be turned into a successful Hollywood-movie manuscript.”
Hannu Waarala, Savon Sanomat 2008
“Baltzar's tale has got a strong core, it is entertaining in a movie-like way.”
Pekka Jaatinen, Kaleva 2008

“Veijo Baltzar has written his most important work so far and at the same time one of the most interesting Finnish books of this year.”
Hannu Niklander, Kaltio

“In Love and War brings forth the most forgotten genocide in Europe. Out of the most disadvantaged and deprived nation, the Roma, the machinery of Nazi eugenics succeeded indestroying almost half of the population. Within these dimensions Baltzar is pointing to an uttermost important direction.”
Veli-Pekka Leppänen, Helsingin Sanomat