Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Review: Those Who Save Us

We always hear of the atrocities the Jewish race endured during World War II, however, very rarely do we see a glimpse into life as a German citizen during this time.  "Those Who Save Us" tells a story of the overwhelming conditions that the Germans faced at the hands of their own government; murder, rape, cruelty, starvation and constantly living under a scrutiny of suspicion.  This novel was a great surprise; very well written and a truly a page turner.  What would you endure to save those you love?  Please note that the scenes of rape and cruelty are quite explicit.

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.


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