145 of 157 people found the following review helpful
How to be a Good German,
This review is from: City of Women (Hardcover)
I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway. I didn't know much about this book prior to reading it, but as I began I was intrigued by a narrative about Berlin during World War II from the point of view of an average German woman. I have read many books detailing the atrocities of the Holocaust and one of the questions those books always left me with was "why didn't anybody stop this" and "didn't anybody notice?"
From this story, it would appear that the answer was, yes, people did notice, but in order to do anything about the deportation of Jewish people to concentration camps it was necessary to have a great deal of courage. This courage was not only in the actual act of helping Jewish people to hide, but even the courage simply to step outside of what was expected and required of you as a good German. In this story, at the beginning, Sigrid is a good German, who works as a typist at the patent office and lives with her mother-in-law while her husband is off fighting in the east. I really enjoyed following her awakening of consciousness as she first forces herself to take notice of the horrors going on around her and then to take action to combat those horrors. I also found it interesting that Sigrid takes some not completely moral actions in her personal life that are stark contrasts to the actions she is taking to help others.
The reason that I only gave this book a three star rating rather than higher, despite really enjoying many parts of the story, was that at times I feel like the book suffered a bit from "Forrest Gump Syndrome". It seems that the author, in his urgency to ensure that many parts of the Germans' experience during this time period is explored, causes things to happen to Sigrid and those around her that seem too unbelievable. I would, however, recommend that anyone interested in the WW II time period read this book. (less)
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 24, 2012 1:29:34 PM PDT
Posted on Dec 31, 2012 5:11:31 PM PST
Great review, I've been reading quite a few books about Germany from the late 1930's thru the end of WWII, and your remarks certainly make this book seem like a good pick. Thanks for the insights.
In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2013 6:58:24 PM PDT
S. Reyes says:
The Candy Bombers, nonfiction, is a revelation on every page about the aftermath of WWII in Germany.
In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2013 9:33:21 PM PDT
Thanks for the tip, I hadn't run across The Candy Bombers.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2014 10:21:25 PM PDT
Rich in NYC says:
Can you supply the name of the author of The Candy Bombers, there seems to be several books out there with very similar titles.
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