Study on WWII Germany

Are there ever periods where you seem to have a common thread in all the books you’re reading?

Lately, it’s been a thread linking the movies I’ve seen and the books I’m studying. What’s that tie? Germany during and after World War II.

It began with The Good German by Joseph Kanon, which was later turned into a movie (that I hope to see soon!). This book gets to the heart of Germany’s slow and painful recovery after the Allies claim victory in Europe.

The Good German is the story of an American reporter who returns to Berlin to find a woman he’d had an affair with before he fled Berlin at the start of the war. In those years, everything has changed: the landscape, the people, the line between good and evil.

This book tackles the guilt of the German people and the effect the Nazi’s had on the people.

Along those same lines, I watched both “Miracle at St. Anna” and “The Reader” in the past week. While “St.Anna” is an inspirational and heart-wrenching story about the black soldiers, it deals with the later repercussions of war on the heart and mind.

“The Reader” (also a best-selling book by Bernhard Schlink) was far from what I expected. The post World War II story of a boy who has an affair with an older woman, only to see her ten years later on trial for war crimes.

This reached a deeper level of the German people’s reaction to the sins of their fathers during Nazi reign. The question is, “How could you have let that happen?”

The woman hides an even deeper secret that she will go to prison for life to protect. The atrocities at Auschwitz echo to this day and for every soul, and this story questions who deserves the punishment for those crimes.

Next on my to-read list: The Book Thief (1939 Germany young adult fiction) and Bonhoeffer (new nonfiction release from Thomas Nelson about the life of a pastor and spy who went against Nazi Germany)

I’ll update you with the latest reads in upcoming posts. For now, I’ll leave you with these words:

“Silence in the face of evil is evil itself. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

More about Nicole

Community Champion at Buffer ~ writer ~ reader ~ urban homesteader ~ former rodeo queen ~ @nmillerbooks

  • Sarah

    Ooh! Saw both The Good German (not as good as a movie as I was hoping – but the book seemed like it would be good) and the Reader (moving, and you’re right – not what you expect right off hand). Happy reading! Do you want me to mail you my copy of The Book Thief?