Monday, March 12, 2012

Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum

For fifty years, Anna Schlemmer has refused to talk about her life in Germany during World War II. Her daughter, Trudy, was only three when she and her mother were liberated by an American soldier and went to live with him in Minnesota. Trudy's sole evidence of the past is an old photograph: a family portrait showing Anna, Trudy, and a Nazi officer, the Obersturmfuhrer of Buchenwald.

Driven by the guilt of her heritage, Trudy, now a professor of German history, begins investigating the past and finally unearths the dramatic and heartbreaking truth of her mother's life.

Combining a passionate, doomed love story, a vivid evocation of life during the war, and a poignant mother/daughter drama,
Those Who Save Us is a profound exploration of what we endure to survive and the legacy of shame. ~~ synopsis from Goodreads

My thoughts ~~ 

Wow! Those Who Save Us is an amazing, yet disturbing book! And let me tell you, this was an excellent choice for our book club to discuss. There is so much in this book to talk about. 

Set in the time of World War II in Germany and then a little later in the United States, it covers the life of Anna and her daughter Trudy. I have always been fascinated with books covering this time period and the hard lives of the Jews and others living in Germany at that time. It is rather unbelievable to think about what happened to them and what they were forced to do to survive.

Those Who Save Us has been very well researched and it is very believable. I am sure that the things that happened in this book, even though they are quite disturbing, actually happened to people in Germany at the time. What a tough time that was to live through.

This book really did stir up a lot of emotions in me. I had sympathy and empathy with some of the characters and then there were others that I just wanted to despise. Like I said, this is an excellent choice for a book group to read and discuss - there is so much in this book to talk about!

I loved this book and I highly recommend it!  


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