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The German House

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3.72  ·  Rating details ·  1,096 ratings  ·  265 reviews

A December 2019 Indie Next Pick!

Set against the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials of 1963, Annette Hess’s international bestseller is a harrowing yet ultimately uplifting coming-of-age story about a young female translator—caught between societal and familial expectations and her unique ability to speak truth to power—as she fights to expose the dark truths of her nation’s past.

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Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published December 3rd 2019 by HarperVia (first published September 21st 2018)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,096 ratings  ·  265 reviews


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Tammy
Aug 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Frankfurt in 1963 has been rebuilt and optimism is prevalent throughout German society. When a young woman, with only vague memories of the war, takes on a job as translator for the Auschwitz trials she is appalled to learn that the average German in uninterested in dredging up the past. Those uninterested include her parents and wealthy boyfriend who are against her involvement in the trials. What she learns throughout the process changes her life forever. Without the complicity and support of ...more
Michelle
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an historical fiction book which explores the Frankfurt trials, the controversial trails held in Frankfurt two decades after the holocaust which set out to convict the SS men who held senior positions at Auschwitz. This book is written by a german lady, I read the translation in english.

As with many translations this book is dry but very quickly I was drawn into the streets of Frankfurt surrounded by germans who didn't want to even acknowledge the trials that were taking place to hearing
...more
Paige
Eva is navigating life as young adult while trying to balance newfound independence. Accepting a new job translating at a trial, she is torn between her career and her boyfriend, Jurgen, who wants her to be a stay at home wife. Eva then learns that her own family does not agree with her involvement as a translator in the trial either. Translating for the Polish victims of the Holocaust, Eva is met with stories of horror and bravery. But as the trial progresses, she can’t help but feel there are ...more
Katie B
4.5 stars

When I first saw this historical fiction book was about the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials of 1963 I knew I had to read it. Even though I have read many historical fiction and nonfiction books about World War 2, I don't often read books that explore the postwar years. The aftermath of the war is something I'm thankful the author deemed worthy of writing about as this was a fascinating read for me.

It's 1963 and Eva Bruhns is twenty-four years old and living with her family in Frankfurt.
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Kerrin Parris
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kerrin by: Bookish First
Vergangenheitsbewältigung is a German term describing the “struggle to overcome the negatives of the past” or “working through the past”. The word has become key in the study of post-1945 German literature, society, and culture. In true German form, vergangenheitsbewältigung has 25 letters. But perhaps its extreme length shows the importance of the processes needed for a society to move forward from it’s criminal, violent past. Vergangenheitsbewältigung is based upon philosopher George Santayana ...more
Susan
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Set around the Auschwitz trials of 1963 in Frankfurt, our main character is Eva, a young translator. Eva lives above The German House – a restaurant run by her parents, Ludwig and Edith Bruhns, her sister, Annegret and young brother, Stefan. Eva is hoping to marry Jurgen Schoormann, whose wealthy father runs a famous mail order catalogue.

Eva finds herself involved in a war crimes trial, which will have implications for her life, her family and the way she sees both herself and her country.
...more
Peppy
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The German House is a five star read. It is a powerful and impressive novel, well written and meticulously researched.
The story takes place in Frankfurt, Germany in 1963 at the onset of the first Frankfurt Auschwitz trial which charged 22 defendants under German law for crimes committed as SS officials in the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Eva is a young and naive woman whose main goal in life is to get her wealthy beau Jurgen to ask her father for her hand in marriage. She lives with her
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Melissa | Recreational Hobbyist
The German House takes place in 1960s Germany, where many are trying to forget about the war & it's tragedies. The story centers around Eva, a young woman in her 20s, helping out at her her family's restaurant, The German House, & working as a Polish translator. Eva is too young to have known what transpired during the war herself, & everyone she knows refuses to talk about it. As she is living her life of finding herself, as well as finding a husband, she is pulled into translating ...more
Anne/ Roebbes_reads_and_treats
Wow! This was a recommendation from my favorite bookseller and it did not disappoint. What I found a bit tricky is that the book is divided into four parts but not into chapters. It was very difficult to put down because the story was very gripping and there were no natural breaks.
The book treats one of the difficult times in German history: It takes place in Frankfurt a.M. in 1963 and the protagonist (a German interpreter for the Polish language) gets sucked into a lawsuit against a bunch
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Stephen
Nov 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy in return for an open and honest review.

Enjoyed this book about the 1963 war crimes trial and the major character is Eva a naive girl who is involved in the trial did however feel the middle of the book fell away and became static but overall the book was an enjoyable read.
Sarah-Hope
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweissplus, 2019
The German House uses the story of a young translator to examine German responses to the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials, which ran from 1963 to 1965. These occurred almost twenty years after the better-known Nuremberg trials held at the end of World War II. Life has moved on for many Germans, and there is powerful public pressure to leave the past buried. The novel was originally published in German in Germany; this is the first U.S. edition.

The story of Eva, the translator, is contrived in terms of
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Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
FULL REVIEW WILL BE ON DECEMBER 3.

It is 1963 in Germany where the Frankfurt trials are ready to get underway.

We meet Eva who works there as a translator for the Polish witnesses who were testifying against the Germans.

Ms. Hess has a writing style that will pull you in and have you completely absorbed in the book. Her research is impeccable.

THE GERMAN HOUSE is a book that historical fiction fans will devour.

You do not want to miss reading this book...it is an impressive, powerful,
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Roman Clodia
This book takes an interesting angle on the Holocaust and, especially, the complicity of 'ordinary' Germans but I found it a disappointing read. Focalised via a young translator called Eva in the 1960s, it seeks to engage with the question of past guilt - but I found the whole thing unsophisticated. Eva feels like a character in a YA book: she knows practically nothing about the war, she's not even a very good translator, and she's shocked and horrified when she learns about Auschwitz. This ...more
Barb
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The German House” by Annette Hess is the story of Eva Bruhns who lived in Frankfurt during the war and who, in 1963, has been asked to be a translator during the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials. Her family will not talk about the war, nor acknowledge what truly took place during that time. What was their involvement at that time?

Now the city of Frankfurt has been reinvented. New buildings have been built the ravages of was and bombings have been erased and Eva’s parents expect her to marry her
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Ahaaha4
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The German House is Annette Hess’s first novel and I thoroughly enjoyed the story. It was translated from German and I feel that it must have been a difficult book to translate, but it was done excellently. The story takes place in Frankfort, Germany in 1963 during the Auschwitz trials. The main character Eva Bruhns is a Polish translator for the trials. I loved her character. She was sensitive and independent during a time when women were not very independent. She did not let her fiancé or ...more
Ahaaha4
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The German House is Annette Hess’s first novel and I thoroughly enjoyed the story. It was translated from German and I feel that it must have been a difficult book to translate, but it was done excellently. The story takes place in Frankfort, Germany in 1963 during the Auschwitz trials. The main character Eva Bruhns is a Polish translator for the trials. I loved her character. She was sensitive and independent during a time when women were not very independent. She did not let her fiancé or ...more
Rachel
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The German House by Annette Hess and translated by Elisabeth Lauffer is a complex, fascinating, thought-provoking historical fiction with a bit of mystery mixed in. This book is definitely not an easy read in regards to the heavy subject matter, but it was breathtaking, and I was able to devour it in 2 days.

This book mainly features Eva Bruhns, a 24 year old German living with her parents and siblings in a house/restaurant literally called The German House in Frankfurt, Germany. It mainly takes
...more
Andi
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I won this book through BookishFirst and I finished it before release date. Huzzah.

I wanted to read this book because the main character seemed to be someone who not only had a secret in her family, but also was someone who was trying to prove herself - that she can be needed for a very important case.

I must admit, the translation and the formatting of this book marred the story. Again, I am aware it is an ARC but if the book had this many issues with the format an the translation that it
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Bruin Mccon
“We had no choice, child”

The German House is a novel about a young woman who is a professional translator in 1960s Germany. She is called in to translate for a trial for World War II war criminals.

“Because that’s where evil lurks.”

As the story opens, Eva Bruhns is waiting for her boyfriend to arrive at her parents’ restaurant for a first introduction. There’s a complicated backstory for her parents and Jurgen, her boyfriend. All goes well and they seem on the path to marriage. Then she gets a
...more
Cat
Oct 29, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Any historical fiction based on the German ideology during WWII grabs my attention. I keep thinking that the more I read from the different aspects, the more likely I will be to finally understand what makes a large mass of people do the unthinkable to another large mass, when just weeks earlier the two entities laughed, shared, loved and cried together. So far, the answer still eludes me.
But this new debut novel by Annette Hess shines a spotlight on the tender subject from a new angle: a
...more
Maryann
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What happened to people after the holocaust? Not the Jewish people. The Germans. Some denied . Some hid things. Some never recovered. Cities were rebuilt. Justice took a long time.
Eva becomes a translator for a Nazi trial. She begins to remember her childhood at Auschwitz living with her parents who worked as cooks for the Nazi commanders.
She also begins to question her fiance and future role as a wife and woman.
I liked how she stood up against what she did not agree with in her family. I
...more
Linda Hepworth
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

It is 1963, and in Frankfurt twenty-four-year-old Eva Bruhn is living at home with her parents, her elder sister Annegret, a paediatric nurse and her much younger brother, Stefan. Home is an apartment above The German House, a restaurant owned and run by her parents. Eva has few memories of WWII and her home city, which was left so badly bomb-damaged at the end of the war, is now prospering. Her dreams are focused on wishing for the day when her rich boyfriend, Jürgen Schoormann, will ask her
...more
MicheleReader
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75 rounded up
The German House takes place in 1963 in Frankfurt, Germany where wrecked buildings have been rebuilt from WWII and people are trying to move on. But can they really? The Auschwitz Trials are about to begin and Eva Bruhns is hired as a Polish translator. She is an independent woman in a time when most women work as a temporary stop before marriage. Her parents run a local restaurant, The German House. The trials were fascinating and heart-breaking as the horrors of the war bring up
...more
Rachel
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The German House by Annette Hess and translated by Elisabeth Lauffer is a complex, fascinating, thought-provoking historical fiction with a bit of mystery mixed in. This book is definitely not an easy read in regards to the heavy subject matter, but it was breathtaking, and I was able to devour it in 2 days.

This book mainly features Eva Bruhns, a 24 year old German living with her parents and siblings in a house/restaurant literally called The German House in Frankfurt, Germany. It mainly takes
...more
Leslie
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many books are written about World War II and I read many of them. Not as much has been written about Germany after the war. Years after, how did individuals react as the truth became known of the horrible atrocities that were committed? How did individuals who participated manage to return to everyday life? The German House by Annette Hess fills this void and answers some of these questions.

Already an international bestseller, The German House is an emotional journey of a young German woman
...more
Cat
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Any historical fiction based on the German ideology during WWII grabs my attention. I keep thinking that the more I read from the different aspects, the more likely I will be to finally understand what makes a large mass of people do the unthinkable to another large mass, when just weeks earlier the two entities laughed, shared, loved and cried together. So far, the answer still eludes me.
But this new debut novel by Annette Hess shines a spotlight on the tender subject from a new angle: a
...more
Addie BookCrazyBlogger
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-s
I am a huge fan of WWII history, whether it’s fact or fictional. I find the entire time period to be incredibly interesting. One thing that has always had me wondering, is how the German people were able to excuse the atrocities of the Holocaust and how they were able to come back as a nation from that time period. It astonished me to see how ignorant Eva was about her own history in the war and how the prejudices continued in people’s attitudes. (Naive? Yes I am.) I also found it incredible how ...more
Rebecca
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, 2019
Thanks to the publisher, via Netgalley, for an advance e-galley for honest review.

While World War II era fiction is abundant, I haven't seen as many stories written about the long lasting reaches of the war in the decades after. The German House focuses on the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials of 1963, and it's absolutely fascinating (and heartbreaking) to read about the attitudes of the Germans towards the trial and the actions of Germans in World War II in general. Reading about Eva's awakening to
...more
Harini Nayak
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved it!

Everything was perfect. I could feel everything, from the moment she starts worrying about whether her beau was coming to meet her parents. It is set in 1960s Germany, which I'm assuming was a gloomy place because it is just a little after the world war. And in the midst, her family has been lying to her. It was quite intriguing, the things said during the translations and then it got disgusting when she mentioned the fact that her brother threw a fit over iver eating his pets. I
...more
Annie
Nov 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Annette Hess’ The German House (expertly translated by Elisabeth Lauffer) is a deeply uncomfortable read. It’s supposed to be. As protagonist Eva Bruhns works as a translator at a trial modeled on the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials, she finds that the very human impulse to avoid conflict, to let bygones be bygones, has become a national pathology. But, unlike so many of the people if her life, Eva finds that she can’t let history be swept under the rug anymore…especially when she finds her own ...more
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Annette Hess grew up in Hanover and currently lives in Lower Saxony. She initially studied painting and interior design, and later scenic writing. She worked as a freelance journalist and assistant director, before launching a successful career as a screenwriter. Her critically-acclaimed and popular television series Weissensee, Ku'damm 56 and Ku'damm 59 are credited with revitalizing German TV. ...more