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Lasciami andare, madre

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  968 Ratings  ·  168 Reviews
"Dopo ventisette anni oggi ti rivedo, madre, e mi domando se nel frattempo tu abbia capito quanto male hai fatto ai tuoi figli". In una stanza d'albergo di Vienna, alle sei di un piovoso mattino, Helga Schneider ricorda quella madre che nel 1943 ha abbandonato due bambini per seguire la sua vocazione e adempiere quella che considerava la sua missione: essere a tempo pieno ...more
Paperback, 130 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Adelphi (first published 2001)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,913)
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
At times it was difficult to continue reading this book. I stayed with it because of the mother-daughter connection. It would be hard not to feel revulsion toward oneself, knowing you were spawned by such a despicable creature. It sickens me just to think I'm a member of the same species as Helga Schneider's mother. We're not really the same species, though. I am homo sapiens and she was homo monsterus horribilis.

It's bad enough that a woman would abandon her two small children without hesitati
...more
Denis
Feb 19, 2009 Denis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An important, emotionally intense and difficult book, which should be requisite reading for anyone trying to understand what happened in Germany during the Nazi era. It is, basically, the portrait that a daughter makes of her own mother, an unrepentant and ferocious jewish-hater Nazi who, decades after the fall of the regime, still hangs on to her despicable beliefs. The frankness and discomfort of the author are heartbreaking. She tries to reach out to her mother when the latest is gravely ill, ...more
Michelle
May 30, 2008 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a deeply compelling and disturbing chronicle of a daughter's final visit with the mother who abandoned her decades before in order to become a prison guard at Auschwitz. The author wrestles deeply during the visit as she seeks to understood what possibly could have motivated her mother to make the choices she did. She weaves in her personal history as she attempts to relate to and reconcile with the senile stranger she hasn't seen more than a handful of times in 30 years. She probes her ...more
Jennifer
Sep 05, 2011 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What a strange read. I felt conflicted most of the time when reading this account. The style of writing is nothing special, but the content is quite haunting, though not in a good way. This is the account of an obviously confused and troubled daughter who has been abandoned by her mother when a small child so that the mother could serve Hitler in the SS. Helga (the daughter, and writer), though in her 50s now, has understandably been tormented by imaginings of what her mother did and saw as a gu ...more
David
Nov 22, 2008 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a gripping and heart-wrenching memoir, that "spoke" to me on several levels. The author was born in Poland in 1937, and grew up in Berlin. When she was only 4, her mother abandoned the family to join the Nazi SS cause. She worked in the concentration camps, assisting in the work of genocide. Her daughter learns the terrible truth years later and spends decades of her life with no contact with the mother, until learning that she is becoming senile and weakening in a nursing home. She relu ...more
Nita
Feb 01, 2011 Nita rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
Brutal. Simply brutal. I listened to it on CD and had to stop listening several times. First, there's the reality. The mother was an SS guard at birkenau concentration camp. The book includes details of atrocities to Jewish men, women and children that are very difficult to hear. I listened because I never want to forget.

Unfortunately, more difficult to hear was the daughter's voice. I don't mean the woman who was reading the book, not that voice. No, it was the daughter's writing, her attitude,
...more
Judy
May 06, 2008 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The searing, heartwrenching, courageous, and horrifying account of a daughter's second visit in 57 years to her German mother who abandoned her when she was four years old to join Hitler's SS. Interspersed with a telling of the events of the visit are the author's memories of her childhood and of her previous visit to her mother in 1971. I recognized many German attitudes and behaviors from my own experiences with growing up with a German mother who lived through World War II, and the book has e ...more
Eva Leger
Sep 16, 2008 Eva Leger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Eva by: myself
This is a great book- it's the story of a little girl who was abandoned at a very young age along with her small brother and father by her mother. Her mother decided she'd join the SS and went to work in the camps. I can't say it's the best book on the subject as a whole but it's a different perspective than I've read before and it accounts her mother still at a very odl age, not showing a bit of remorse for her actions. In fact, her mother shows the exact opposite even very near death. This goe ...more
Kris
Jun 28, 2008 Kris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A true story about a young girl whose mother was active extrremely committed to the Nazi party, so much so that she essentially abandoned her husband and young children because of it, joining the SS and becoming a concentration camp guard. This narrative is written by her daughter and tells some of her mother's story and also their final meeting at a nursing home, nearly 60 years after she left in 1941. Her mother's lack of remorse is chilling. The language in the book is a bit stilted at time, ...more
La.Silbia
Feb 22, 2011 La.Silbia rated it really liked it
Shelves: e, narrativa-tedesca
In così poche pagine ci si trova a contatto con una sofferenza così grande: la sofferenza di una donna che deve affrontare la presenza ingombrante dell'assenza della madre, votata a una causa superiore ignobile fino alla fine dei suoi giorni; la sofferenza dell'odio e del disgusto mischiato al bisogno comunque incessante di avere una madre, da amare o da odiare, che porta al non potersi separare da lei, dall'idea di lei, e quindi al non poter andare oltre. E sullo sfondo il ricordo di una grande ...more
Anna Dorywalska
I started reading this book on the floor of Imperial War Museum bookshop. Affected by an exhibition I just saw, I wandered to the shop and this piece caught my eye.

The story, of course, is heartbreaking. Helga decides to visit her mother and confront her about her past as a Nazi SS guard at concentration camps. The book recalls conversations that took place that day and describes crimes committed by Schneider's mother and her "comrades" during WWII. What's so horrible for the author, and the rea
...more
Dragonsfire
"I've lost. I've lost again." I agree. She got no answers. It seems the times she saw her mother were a waste of time because so many questions were left unanswered! I want answers! So yeah, I feel that leaving yet another time with nothing answered is a loss. I feel she wasted so many years feeling this anger or mixed emotions or whatever you want to call it due to her mother abandoning them that she missed that chance when she might have gotten some answers because she let so many years go by ...more
Andrea
Jan 25, 2016 Andrea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am struggling to come to an exact rating to give this book. I think I will go with a 2.5-3.0 star rating.
I found that I wanted to throw the book many times while reading it, but stuck it out to see if there was any redemption in the end.

This book is a memoir of Helga Schneider. She was abandoned by her mother during World War II to join the Nazi SS. Her mother ultimately became a guard at various concentration camps, including Auschwitz. This is the story of her last meeting with her estranged
...more
Sue Diveley
This is a difficult story to think about. I was gripped and read the book in one day. (It is small.) The author's mother abandoned her to be an SS guard. She was personally responsible for deaths of women and children and participated in the horrific medical experiments. As the author struggles for understanding and closure, you do too. This book is non-fiction, so everything isn't wrapped up perfectly at the end. I felt the book was a worthwhile read and certainly told a story about a Holocaust ...more
Judy
Aug 16, 2013 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: WWII buffs and memoir-lovers
I'm seeing you again after twenty-seven years, Mother, and wondering whether in all that time you have understood how much damage you did to your children. I didn't sleep a wink last night. It's almost daylight now; I've opened the shutters. A smoky veil of light is brightening above the roofs of Vienna.

I'm going to see you again today, Mother, but what will I feel? What can a daughter feel for a mother who refuse to be a mother so that she could join Heinrich Himmler's evil organization?

Respect
...more
Colleen
May 04, 2009 Colleen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I just had to read this book because the premise is so unbelievable. The author's mother voluntarily abandoned her husband and children to become a Nazi guard at Auschwitz. It's very difficult to believe someone would do that. The author's mother is an absolutely unlikable human being. Besides the horrible things she did to her family and with her life, she's just a nasty woman. I don't understand how the nursing home where she lived was so accepting of her, almost cherishing her. They put up wi ...more
Fliss Blanch
Feb 13, 2013 Fliss Blanch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book made me cry - really, really cry. Helga Schneider was born to a woman who abandoned Helga when she was four years old to devote herself to Hitler's regime. She became an extermination guard in Ravensbruck and became involved in the ''experiments'' of the prisoners. Helga did not see her mother again until 1971 but found herself feeling revulsion when her mother insisted that she try on her SS uniform. Helga decided to have a final meeting with her mother in 1998 to find out if they sti ...more
Monica

Helga e' stata abbandonata dalla madre da bambina. Fervente nazista, la donna ha deciso di diventare guardiana di un campo di concentramento.

Parecchi anni dopo, diventata adulta, Helga reincontra sua madre, ora anziana che risiede in una casa di cura. Un incontro sconvolgente, tra una donna che vuole risposte ed un'anziana che non ha mai rinnegato la sua fede nazista, nemmeno dopo la piu' rovinosa delle disfatte.

Emblematica la scena in cui la vecchia madre, orgogliosa di conservare ancora la su
...more
L.n. Drunkengoth
Nov 13, 2011 L.n. Drunkengoth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hja-research
It's difficult to express how much I thought of this book.

The final meeting between a woman and her mother who is still the strong manipulative woman she once was, but also confused and disorientated by the ravages of dementia. The woman was abandoned by her mother at the age of 4 for the Waffen SS, treated unkindly by her stepmother, and still desperately seeking a connection that has never, and will never, be there.

I was left, just as the author appeared to be, wondering if the mother was tell
...more
Adonica
Feb 11, 2014 Adonica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of a daughter dealing with the fact that her mother worked at a Concentration Camp. I didn't know what to think when I started listening, but I was quickly drawn into the story. Interesting, and heartbreaking, listening to this terrible portion of history told from this angle.
Elli
Let Me go by Helga Schneider. It's a short book 165 pages, but vey intense as well. Helga and her brother and father were left when her mother decided to abandon the family in favor of going for advancement in the Nazi party and the SS, sentiments which she held to her dying day in complete contrast to her daughter's. The meeting and the conflict was totally painful to the daughter. The woman was intelligent, a fanatic, and a manipulator especially where her own wants were concerned. No one was ...more
Daisy
Should I be ashamed if, every now and again, instinct, my instinct as a daughter, gets the better of morality, of history, of justice and humanity?

The failed story of a mother and a daughter. A non-story.

No, I don't hate her. It's just that I don't love her.


This is confusing. It's heavy and depressing on so many levels.
Abandonment, forgiveness, war and evil...
Helga Schneider's mother leaves her in 1941 to follow her beliefs in the Third Reich. They next meet in 1971 and then again in 1998, the
...more
3Bassi D
Apr 08, 2016 3Bassi D rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let Me go is a very intense and horrific memoir which entails the life of a girl, Helga Schneider. who was separated from her mother during WW II. This haunting memory follows her to present life where she finds out that her mother was a nazi Waffen SS gaurd who committed many of the despicable crimes by the nazis. Overall this book is great, it is due to the demonstration of human nature and the bond between the mother and her daughter which is absolutely attention-grabbing. As for the human na ...more
María Paz Greene
Oct 11, 2015 María Paz Greene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobio
Este es un libro DURÍSIMO Y HORRIBLE, porque habla con extrema sinceridad de una situación terrorífica y además está escrito con una minuciosidad clínica. La autora (pobre autora) habla con una distancia que creo que solo logra porque habían pasado varios años desde los traumas iniciales, cuando su mamá la dejó para irse a trabajar a la S.S.. Más adelante, es cierto que le pasaron otras cosas traumáticas, como el completo abandono de la señora y su orgullo insano hacia Hitler, pero sin duda la a ...more
Abc
Aug 16, 2015 Abc rated it really liked it
Difficile da leggere per le implicazioni emotive che scatena. Qui si sommano due atrocità: quella dei campi di concentramento con tutti gli orrori che vi si sono verificati e quella di una madre incapace di dare amore, che si sottrae al proprio ruolo all'interno della famiglia per diventare SS.
Per tutto il romanzo (fortunatamente breve) assistiamo a questo confronto fra una figlia e una madre ormai novantenne, ma ancora incapace di riconoscere i propri errori politici e la gravità degli orrori
...more
Janine Barltrop
Jan 02, 2016 Janine Barltrop rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very compelling short read. It's written by a woman who's mother deserted her, her baby brother and father to become a devout member of the Nazi SS.

It's written as their conversations when meeting for only the second time since she was deserted at the age of 4 (her mother now 90).

Covering her life and struggles, alongside her mothers memories of her 'glorious days' of being an SS guard.
Many things you know already of the atrocities dealt to the Jewish people, but more is told within these p
...more
eleonora -
Trovo impossibile dare una valutazione in stelline a questo libro, come sempre quando si tratta di memoriali.
É un racconto intenso, crudo, frustrante. Un racconto di rimozione, di non-rielaborazione, senza alcuna crescita. Una protagonista, la stessa Helga, che incontra sua madre per la seconda volta in mezzo secolo, ammette di averla perdonata per l'abbandono subito. Ma tant'é che tra una visita e l'altra trascorrono ventisette anni, e che Helga crolla come una bambina non appena la crudele ma
...more
Sarah
Jan 13, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book offers a very unique perspective from the other Holocaust memoirs. Although it is a short read, it has left an impact on me. I can't imagine being reunited with a mother who was so filled with hatred for a group of people that she abandoned her family to join in the effort to kill the Jews.
Carrie
Mar 08, 2011 Carrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very difficult mother-daughter relationship. How hard to have a mother who abandoned you to be an SS officer in Nazi concentration camps. This book chronicles the second and final visit between mother and daughter in 45 years. Very emotionally powerful. Short fast read that packs a punch.
Chiara
Jul 27, 2011 Chiara rated it it was amazing
Tua madre ti abbandona per fare la guardiana a Birkenau,come puoi sopravvivere a questo dolore?
Questo libro racconta del rapporto mai nato tra una figlia abbandonata e una madre rigorosa e dedita alla causa nazista partendo dall'ultimo (?) incontro tra le due donne.
Bellissimo.
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So, did she? 1 4 Oct 11, 2015 08:29PM  
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Nasce nel 1937 in Slesia (territorio tedesco che dopo la seconda guerra mondiale sarà assegnato alla Polonia). Nel 1941 Helga e suo fratello Peter, rispettivamente di 4 anni e 19 mesi, con il padre già al fronte, vengono abbandonati a Berlino dalla madre, che arruolatasi come ausiliaria nelle SS diverrà guardiana al campo femminile di Ravensbruck e successivamente di Auschwitz-Bierkenau.
Helga e Pe
...more
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