This is certainly not your typical WWII book. I really didn't know what I was getting into, but this is a real page turner. I had seen Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum on numerous book club lists and "best of" lists and decided to give it a try. Little did I know: this is one of those books that changes the reader. Blum makes you ask, "What would I have done?" many times throughout this heartwrenching story. How many millions of women were in the shoes of Anna during WWII? Their stories are mostly lost now, but Jenna Blum has managed to give many of them a voice. I don't think I could recommend this book to just anyone, although I think just about anyone would benefit from reading it. The portrayal of the brutality of the Nazis is hard to swallow and very graphic in parts. But, it's the truth and so much of this book is about trying to find the truth...even if it's horrific. No matter how many times I read an account of the Holocaust, it never gets easier to know what man can do, and has done, to man. I wish I believed that stories like this would someday not need to be told. But, as George Santayana famously said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." We must never allow that to happen, so I, for one, will keep reading stories like this one.
Here's my 100 word review of Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum
A new perspective on the Holocaust through the fear-filled eyes of German citizens.
Powerful storytelling of Nazi brutality and a mother's sacrifice of everthing she has to save her daughter.
Devastating emotional choices with generational consequences.
An existence centered on desperation...degradation...humiliation...manipulation...
A mother's silence...to protect her daughter and attempt to forget the past.
A daughter's search for the truth.
When no one will tell us the truth, our mind will fill in the blanks for us.
The actual truth could be easier to bear than the truth we create.
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