NONFICTION : JOURNEY TO POLAND by Alfred Doblin (Paragon House: $21.95; 330 pp.) .

This is the translation of a 1925 book by the author of the classic novel "Berlin Alexanderplatz." A nonobservant Jew, Doblin traveled throughout Poland for three months in 1924, in search of his religious roots--and of a spirituality he found lacking in Berlin. He tells, in anecdotal entries, about visits to 10 cities, including Warsaw, and of his encounters with orthodox Jews who soon would be destroyed by the Nazis. He concludes that the power of nature is the mightiest force in the universe; second is man's soul. As for formal worship, he warns against it. Doblin counsels "There is an independence ordained by God . . . Each man carries his own head between his shoulders."

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