Leon Levit was a German Jew who arrived in British Mandate Palestine in 1932. He served in the British Army in Palestine during the Second World War and participated in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. He later became an Israeli diplomat whose postings included New York, where he was Israel’s economic attaché, and Turkey, where he was Israel’s chargé d’affaires.
In retirement from Israel’s Foreign Ministry in the 1960s, Levit wrote A Mercedes in the Sand. In the novel’s foreword, Levit wrote that his novel is a work of fiction about a “German Jew who lost one home in the land of his birth and who found another elsewhere after many internal and external struggles.”
Levit wrote the book in German, his mother tongue, and it was still unpublished when he died in Tel Aviv in 1974. Through the efforts of his daughter, Daphna Levit, the book was published in its original German in 2002 as Ein Mercedes Im Sand.
And, now, through the efforts of another daughter, Ruth Levit Miller of Ottawa, A Mercedes in the Sand is now available in English translation. [Read more…]