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The German Girl

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  27,275 ratings  ·  3,025 reviews
A stunningly ambitious and beautiful debut novel, perfect for fans of Sarah’s Key and All the Light We Cannot See, the story of a twelve-year-old girl’s harrowing experience fleeing Nazi-occupied Germany with her family and best friend, only to discover that the overseas asylum they had been promised is an illusion.

In 1939 before everything changed, Hannah Rosenthal lived
Hardcover, 360 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by Atria Books
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Armando Lucas Correa Yes. It is a historical novel and as one of the Saint Louis survivors said, "sadly, history repeats itself."…moreYes. It is a historical novel and as one of the Saint Louis survivors said, "sadly, history repeats itself."(less)
Karen That's the least of the worries about this book. I found it unbelievable on many levels. Not on the historical details, though. Just in how the charac…moreThat's the least of the worries about this book. I found it unbelievable on many levels. Not on the historical details, though. Just in how the characters found ways to cope, or not cope.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  27,275 ratings  ·  3,025 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
Nov 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Wow, talk about a heart wrenching read! This is the most involved in a historical fiction novel I have ever been. The first sentence gripped me and I found myself clenched throughout the entire read. The most moving factor for me was the complete list at the end of the book that stated the names of all the passengers on board the St. Louis. I found myself choking back tears while reading the horrible history described in the author's note; reflection on such torture seemed not important enough a ...more
Angela M
Oct 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 rounded up

I have read a good number of holocaust stories and I'm always amazed how much there is to learn, and as I always say when reviewing these books, it is so very important, no not just important, but imperative that we remember. This is a heartbreaking story about an incident that occurred in 1939 that only some may know about and that is precisely why this book is one that should be read. In 1939 over 900 German Jews fled on the ship the Saint Louis leaving Germany for asylum to Cu
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: europe-war
A life of pain and suffering. Of loss.
Told in parallel stories with decades between them, this story spans from 1939 to 2014 and is the story of Hannah and Anna.
Both lost a parent due to war - one during the holocaust; the other to 9-11. Anna is the namesake of Hannah- a great aunt who immigrated to Cuba from Nazi invaded Germany.

The stories draw out the journeys each girl makes. Hannah's is the focus from Germany to Cuba on a ship that poses it's own challenges for the 'impure'. Just when esca
Elyse  Walters
Library ebook

I gravitate towards WWII stories....yet for some reason I wasn’t pulled to read this book when it first came out last year....fearing it might be just ‘ok’.
My hunch proved right - it was an ‘ok’ read for me.

The saddest part of this book for me was the real history —- history that the United States - Cuba - and Canada - should have felt ashamed of — for their loathness and aversion in accepting and welcoming Jewish refugees. The President of Canada and the United States - both refu
Diane S ☔
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
We first meet Hannah in Berlin, 1939, when her family is planning to escape Hitler's Germany while he is still letting Jews that can afford it, to leave. Her days are spent running around with her friend Leo, two eleven year olds that are trying to find understand what is happening to their country, find out their parents plan. They will leave on a ship to Cuba, the St, Louis.

Anna, and her mother will receive a packet in the mail, pictures of her Aunt Hannah, a look into her Father's past. Her
Jun 21, 2016 rated it really liked it

4.5 Stars

The Rosenthal family lived a life most would have envied before their world was turned upside-down in 1939. Formerly among Berlin’s uppermost of society, their family was no longer welcome, they are seen as the “unclean.” Scorned. Hannah, an eleven-year old girl, was used to a life wrapped in loveliness. Hannah’s only solace is now found with her friend Leo. Together, they must find a future together.

Leaving Germany seemed difficult at first, to leave behind the life the
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
The German Girl was a nice surprise taking on a different perspective than other books set around the Second World War and I was quickly swept into the two worlds of Hannah and Anna. The dual timelines successfully meld to bring the past and future together. Set in Germany, Cuba and New York this book describes the sense of loss of displacement and isolation from a country that no longer sees you as desirable into another country that never feels like you belong. The sense of loss permeates thro ...more
Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it

When eleven-year-old Hannah Rosenthal winds up on the cover of the German Girl, a Nazi propaganda magazine for pre-teen girls, it's almost a sick joke. Because if her childhood in Berlin living amongst the "Ogres" has taught her anything it's that she's not German-- not pure, not wanted, barely tolerated. Her blonde hair and blue eyes can do nothing to change that. By 1939, her family is more or less holed up in their apartment building, the one that's been in her mother's family for decades but
An interesting and engaging historical fiction connecting the Nazis time in Germany and 9/11 in New York!

Hannah and Anna are 75 years apart, but connected by history - well narrated!
Susanne  Strong

Beautiful, Haunting and Gut-wrenching.
We cannot imagine the horror of those who experienced the atrocities of World War II. To read about them is extremely difficult and evokes such strong emotion. I, for one, can’t imagine going through it. The German Girl is based on a true story of what happened during that time.

Hannah Rosenthal is the German Girl. She is a twelve-year-old, blond hair, blue-eyed German Girl. And she is also a Jew. The year is 1939 and the place is Berlin. All Hell starts to
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-books
The author of The German Girl, Armando Lucas Correa, was a recent guest at a writers festival held in Perth, Western Australia, where I live. Although I was unable to see Armando Lucas Correa, I highly endorse his novel, The German Girl. It is a fitting testament to another sad chapter to World War II’s history and the Jewish people.

The German Girl is a fictionalised account of the events that took place before, on board and after the German ship St Louis se
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
3.5 stars. This book was my introduction to the SS St. Louis, a transatlantic liner offering Jews safe passage out of Germany in 1939. What I enjoyed most about this novel was learning about a piece of Holocaust history that I had known nothing about. It is obvious that a tremendous amount of research went into creating this novel. Overall, I thought the book was good, it just didn't have a "wow" factor for me. I kind of feel bad for this book because I think that part of my lack of enthusiasm b ...more
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
**New book by this great author, "The Daughter's Tale: A Novel will be published in early May, 2019**

This debut novel by Armando Lucas Correa is beautifully written and detailed. This is a fictionalized account of an event that really happened.

In the late 1930’s the Nazi’s had already invaded and controlled Berlin. This book is not so much a story of the horrors of the war or the Nazi’s but more a telling of what happened to a family throughout many decades.

We first meet Hannah Rosenthal who is
Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
It’s 1939 in Berlin where we meet Hannah Rosenthal and her family. The climate of their city has started to change due to the invasion of the Nazi party. Because they are of the Jewish faith, the family is no longer accepted and face humiliation daily. Friends disappear in the night, it is not safe to be outside, jobs are taken away, people arrested for no reason.

The family does not have many available options to escape. The Rosenthal’s, along with another family, obtain all the documents neede
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
2.5 STARS - WWII fiction is one of my favourite genres so when I saw this book I knew that it was right up my alley. The story is told via two 12-year-old narrators in two different eras. One follows Hannah, a Jewish girl living in Berlin in 1939 and modern day Anna, a descendant of Hannah's, who lives in New York City.

The first half of the book briefly introduces us to Anna but most of the page time is given to Hannah and her family's escape from Germany just before war breaks out. Living in Ge
Diane Barnes
I felt this book suffered from a too simplistic style, until another reviewer pointed out that it is written from the viewpoint of two 12 year old girls, 75 years apart. Upon reading the afterward, I also learned that it is a translation from Spanish, so that may account for it as well. In any case, an enlightening story about a real event in 1939, where over 900 German passengers escaping from the Nazis were refused entrance into Cuba, the US, and Canada. It seems that no
one wants evacuees fro
Amanda Jane
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Amanda by: Netgalley
The German Girl written by Armando Lucas Correa is a debut novel that revolves around the lives of two little girls Hannah and Anna over a period of 70 years.

The story begins in Berlin in 1939 where we meet Hannah Rosenthal. A beautiful, spirited, blue eyed 12 old Jewish girl who likes nothing better than to spend time with her best friend Leo. Their friendship is an absolute delight to behold. they love to explore and roam the city but their World becomes significantly smaller as the Nazi's ar
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
What I really liked about this story was the fact that it was based on a true event in history that I knew nothing about. The story is told from 2 POV's-both 12 yr old girls. Hannah's story is 1939, as the hatred is escalating towards Jews. She and her family must leave Germany- they manage to book passage on the St Louis, which is headed for Cuba. What occurs when they get there is the basis of this story. Anna's story takes place in New York in 2014. She never knew her father but she and her m ...more
Jul 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 stars

There are moments when it's better to accept it's all over, that there's nothing more to be done. Give up and abandon hope :surrender.That's how I felt by then. I didn't believe in miracles.This had happened to us because we insisted on changing a destiny that was already written. We didn't have any rights, we couldn't reinvent history. We were condemned to be deceived from the moment we came into the world.

Emotionally charged and intricately researched, The German Girl tells the st
Karen R
Nov 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Just when I thought I’d had my fill of WWII historical fiction, I was encouraged to read another after reading rave reviews from friends. Wow, I really liked it, especially the chapters written from Hannah’s perspective! She is a strong and determined soul who we are introduced to as an energetic 11-year old girl fleeing occupied Germany in 1939 with her family. As this novel spans 70 years, we meet her again in her 80’s.

The second narrator is 11-year old Anna who in 2014 receives a mysterious p
Apr 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. There are a lot of reasons I probably shouldn't have, but I enjoyed it anyway.

It is the story of Hannah and Anna. Hannah: a 12-year-old Jewish girl in 1939 Germany. Anna: a 12-year-old girl from 2014 New York, grandniece of Hannah. Their stories are told forward and backward, revealing the relationship between the two of them.

The main focus is on the real life transit of the ocean liner the St. Louis, taking 937 Jewish people from Germany to Havana, Cuba. Historical det
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2017
The German Girl feels like one of the most important books I have read this year. First, you get a history lesson. Saint Louis voyage from Berlin to Cuba was not something I knew anything about and if I have read about the voyage when I was younger and studied, is that nothing I remember today. But it's so more than just a history lesson. I got a terrible feeling that what happened to St. Louis in 1939 could just as well happen today. That today's refugees would be treated in the same way by nat ...more
I had heard of this historical pre-WW2 event but I guess I forgot how it concluded, so was glad to read this to refresh my memory. And I have not read any books based in Cuba, so that was good. Unfortunately though, I didn't care much for the writing or the rest, and I think it was that it seemed too YA for my tastes. ...more
Eleven year old Hannah Rosenthal is a member of one of Berlin’s most distinguished families. With her blond hair and striking blue eyes, she is also one of the prettiest girls in her class. However, after the Nazis rise to power in Germany, the Rosenthal’s become outcasts. Hannah’s parents soon realize that their only hope of saving their lives is to leave everything they own behind and immigrate to the United States. They are cautiously hopeful as they board the transatlantic liner, St. Louis, ...more
RoseMary Achey
Aug 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Children on Board the S.S. St. Louis
In 1939 the St. Louis, a transatlantic liner carrying 937 primarily Jewish passengers escaping Hitler's Third Reich traveled from Hamburg to Havana, Cuba only to be turned away from Cuba, the United States and Canada. The German Girl is a fictionalized account of this journey.

A young girl, Hannah, and her parents were on board and we experience the journey from her point of view. Historical fiction mixed with a small dose of coming of age and a bit of dual
Jan 15, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars ⭐️
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american, español
A couple of weeks ago I heard an interview on CBC radio with 81-year old Ana Maria Karmann, one of the passengers of the steamship the Saint Louis.

She was a four-year old child traveling with her family and 900 German Jews who were looking for safe haven in the summer of 1939. Germany had allowed them to leave with only ten German Marks each and a passage to Cuba, which would be a temporary stop before heading to the United States. When they arrived in Ha
May 14, 2017 rated it liked it
This one was a struggle for me to finish. I've read countless novels about the Holocaust and felt that this one was different because it told the tragic story about the SS St Louis. However, this book didn't cut it for me. I felt the characters to be very dry and the story didn't grab me the way that I had hoped. Maybe because I found the storylines told by both girls to be a little unrealistic and I couldn't get past that. Nevertheless I gave it three stars because of the relationship between H ...more
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Armando Lucas Correa is a Cuban writer. He lives in Manhattan with his partner and their three children.

Correa is the recipient of various outstanding achievement awards from the National Association of Hispanic Publications and the Society of Professional Journalism.

His book En busca de Emma (In Search of Emma: Two Fathers, One Daughter and the Dream of a Family) was published by Rayo, Harper Col

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