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The Healing Wound: Experiences and Reflections, Germany, 1938-2001 Paperback – November 17, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 428 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (November 17, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039332382X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393323825
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #998,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Reminiscent of the thoughtful writings of Elie Wiesel and Viktor Frankl, these essays by Austrian-born Sereny (Into That Darkness) read at times like short stories connected by the author's quest to comprehend the phenomenon that was German National Socialism. Sereny was a member of the French resistance during World War II, and when she tells a story whether her own or that of one of the many historical figures she has interviewed the work is compelling and thought-provoking. When she philosophizes, however, as she does in one long section on the effect of Nazism on German youth, the work stalls. The writing would have benefited from simplification; many of the sentences are long and complex and are fractured by a profusion of dashes and commas, which endangers their clarity. Still, Sereny writes with insight, passion, and understanding of Hitler's servants and their lingering impact on Germany today. Highly recommended for academic libraries. Michael F. Russo, Louisiana State Univ. Libs., Baton Rouge
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

When Sereny witnessed the 1934 Nuremberg rally as a child, she was intoxicated by the energy and symmetry with which the men of the SS moved. She would see the horror beneath their veneer when Hitler and his troops invaded her beloved Austria to disseminate their odious vision of racial perfection. Hungarian by birth, Sereny did not suffer the fate of the camps, but as a firsthand witness to this abomination, she became immersed in a lifelong commitment to unveiling the vileness of Hitler's Germany. A renowned journalist and an author of several books, she explores the effect that Germany's past has had on its present-day youth and the toll it has taken on their national pride. She fearlessly probes the mind of Franz Stangl, an SS guard at Sobibor, and she interviews the children of the Third Reich who struggle to cope with their fathers' crimes against humanity. This very cerebral memoir is an encyclopedia of information on the aftermath of the Nazi era. Elsa Gaztambide
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 25, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book mostly contains a collection of previously published pieces written over a thirty-year period. each is given a new introduction and some also update the information. Included in the articles are autobiographical anecdotes about Ms Sereny's event filled life.
It deals with some of the infamous participants of World War II (such as Speer and Stengle of Trablinka) as well as with some of the after effects that the conflict has wrought the world. Also appearing are the stories of those whose lives as members of the Third Reich did not being until after May 1945. The forger of the Hitler diaries (and Sereny's sinister take on them), the man who owns the copyright on "Mein Kampf", and the youth of Germany in the 1960s.
If you have read her other books some material here will be repetitive, however, the collection allows readers to gain a much broader perspective on how the war has shaped and continues to shape our world.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Fred M. Blum on July 11, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Ms. Sereny is one of the true gifts to the literary world and as each of her books is published I relish the chance to read it. That is what was so disappointing about The Healing Wound: Experiences and Reflections, Germany, 1938-2001. The stated purpose of the book was to discuss the effect of the Nazis and the war on Germans, both during and after the conflict. Whilet the writing is as usual top flight and each of the chapters engrossing, as a whole the book fails in its essential task.
The book is a collection of decades of Ms. Sereny's writing, edited and updated. Two of the chapters are derived from her earlier books on Stangl and Speer, and for those who have read the books, there is very little added. The other chapters are engrossing in their own right. They range from the Nazi's stealing of children to be raised as Aryans, Ms. Sereny's experiences in pre-war Germany, to the falsification of Hitler's diaries, and the trial of John Demjanjuk. What is missing is a universal current that brings together each of the chapters together. At times the book seems to be as much about the United States or Israel as Germany.
When Ms. Sereny does discuss the attitudes of current Germans and the evolutionary process that they have taken part in the discussion is riveting. Focusing on those sections, one firmly believes that there is no comparison between the German that grew up in what was West Germany and the German who lived in Germany in the early 1930's. That whatever else might be said, that the German government and people have taken their recent history to heart with the firm desire to insure that it will not be repeated. This is encouraging given the discussion about the racist problems arising in the former East German states. I only wish that more of the book had been devoted to this subject.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Campbell VINE VOICE on November 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
Gitta Sereny is an excellent author. Yes, as mentioned in the other reviews this is a collection of her work. What I enjoyed about this book is that it touches so many different facets of the Third Reich and how it still resonates in society today.

Reading this for someone who is interested in this period is an excellent way to end up going off on different tangents from the mainstream books on the subject. I ended up reading books on what it was like growing up as a child of the Reich. From there I went on to read about the effects of the post-war population movements had on the demographic makeup of Europe. Read it and see what you never thought of before.
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Format: Paperback
Gitta Sereny largely made her name as a writer by probing what made the Nazis so evil, what atrocities they carried out while in power and how so many Germans could claim they had no idea what had been done in their name. This isn't so much a book as a collection of essays which jumps around from the early 2000s to the late 1960s and back to the early 2000s, which does not always make for a smooth read. Not all the material is new and if you've read Into that Darkness you'll learn nothing about Franz Stangl from the long chapter on him here. Yet these drawbacks are more than made up for by the story of how a young volunteer who worked with orphaned and stolen children in post-war Europe gradually became a feared inquisitor. She asks a series of simple questions and slowly persuades Stangl, Albert Speer and others to open up in a way no one else could manage to achieve. Sereny also dips into the real story of the Hitler Diaries and what really happened to Odilo Globocnik, the driving force behind the main death camps in Poland. She is meticulous, dogged, asks great questions and very rarely gives up.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lenis V. Wells on March 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an account of events during Hitler's time in power and includes background information about events. It also deals with modern Germany's efforts to deal with the traumas resultant on Nazi activities. As with all her books Gita Sereny has presented a thoroughly researched and readable account of her subject.
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