Do you know that in 1935 race law was created by the Nazis? It's called the Nuremberg Laws and it segregated the Jews from the rest of the Germany's p...moreDo you know that in 1935 race law was created by the Nazis? It's called the Nuremberg Laws and it segregated the Jews from the rest of the Germany's pop. It's one of many things I learned from this historical graphic novel, published by Anne Frank House Foundation. The clean BD-style and the recounting narrative help readers to understand the horrific experience of Holocaust survivors who lost their parents in the Nazi death camps.
The story started in present day Netherlands, where two omas and their grandsons met to talk about their younger days before the War. One of the pair are Jews, and the Jewish grandma recalled how she escaped the day her family was round up and taken to the death camp.
This book can be read in one sitting, and the graphics were done in Tintin style, but it'd be worth adding to anyone's personal library - anyone interested in not seeing history repeating itself in the future..(less)
Have you ever bought a book only to read it years later? When I bought this more than 3 years ago, it's a clean paperback soon tucked away between she...moreHave you ever bought a book only to read it years later? When I bought this more than 3 years ago, it's a clean paperback soon tucked away between shelves and moving to a newer home, and I just discovered it again 3 days ago. It was getting moldy and musty, and everything I want not for a book collection. Almost threw it with the rest of my 'giveaway' books to donate to Goodreads Indonesia!
Then I started reading.. There are 3 stories of 3 different characters set in 3 different lifetimes. The only thing that glue these stories together is the Holocaust taken from the perspective of ordinary Germans - the so-called perpetrators of the Jewish genocide.
The first story is set in the 1940s, with the character Helmut, a young man left behind by his generation because he's a cripple and thus cannot join the army of the Fuhrer. Helmut, in his own way, managed to survive by developing a keen eye in photographing the changing times in his city, but still resented his deformed body that prevented him from being a soldier like other normal Germans. Even when he was not aware of the holocaust, he's still proud to have the Fuhrer as his (fallen) leader because being German turned out to be the only thing he can identify with other (normal) Germans.
The second story has been loosely adapted into a movie with the same title "Lore" in 2012. It was a story of 5 siblings making a journey from the countryside south to the north, just after Hitler lost the war and Germany was being divided by the Americans, British, and Russians. Lore is the eldest of the five, and her mother entrusted her with her brothers and sister to make a dangerous journey so they can have a safer place to grow up after the war, as both Lore's parents were Nazis. As they journeyed together, they met Thomas, a young man who was passing himself as a Jew so that he can travel to better place, and in the end became the protector of the bunch along the way. During their travel, Lore learned how the average Germans who never knew about the death camps set up by Hitler to exterminate the Jews, told themselves that the pictures taken of the death camps were fakes, set up by the Americans to make Germany responsible for Hitler's action.
The last story is set in the 2000, when a young German who has a Turkish-German girlfriend and loving memories of his grandfather. Apparently, the grandfather had been a Waffen SS officer during the war and was released as prisoner-of-war by the Russian. He set himself to look for truth, as he's now an English teacher and would like to see his students learn more about Germany's past and involvement in the holocaust. At one time, he was struck by how most of his students identify with the Jewish victims and cried for them instead of crying because their country was the cause of the killing.
I'd like to applaud the author for the writing - it's flowing and engaging, not to mention thought-provoking. I was drawn by the history, and the subtle droppings of details. You would either love this book, or hate it for I bet it'd appear too slow for some. I can also see why the author doesn't go too deep into the background of each character. It's meant for the readers to conjure the images out of each story - like looking at an old photograph and create your own story - and think up of how it ends. Beautiful work indeed!(less)
This is probably intended to be the prequel of The Search, with Jeroen's grandmother (Helena) recounts of her life during the Holocaust as the center....moreThis is probably intended to be the prequel of The Search, with Jeroen's grandmother (Helena) recounts of her life during the Holocaust as the center. Again, you would not be disappointed with the clean BD-style and clear narrative. The historical content itself can be read as a more 'entertaining' version of Europe during the WW II.(less)