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A Demon-Haunted Land: Witches, Wonder Doctors, and the Ghosts of the Past in Post-WWII Germany

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A revelatory counterhistory of postwar Germany, not as a reborn democracy but as a nation convulsed by apocalyptic visions, witchcraft fears, and supernatural obsessions

In the aftermath of World War II, a succession of mass supernatural events swept through war-torn Germany. A messianic faith healer rose to extraordinary fame; enormous crowds traveled to witness apparitions of the Virgin Mary. Most strikingly, scores of people accused their neighbors of witchcraft, and found themselves in turn hauled into court in turn on charges of defamation, assault, and even murder.

While many histories emphasize Germany's rapid transition from genocidal dictatorship to liberal democracy, A Demon-Haunted Land places in full view the toxic mistrust and spiritual malaise that unfolded alongside the economic miracle. Drawing on previously unpublished archival materials, acclaimed historian Monica Black argues that the surge of supernatural obsessions stemmed from the unspoken guilt and shame of a nation remarkably silent about what was euphemistically called "the most recent past." This shadow history irrevocably changes our view of postwar Germany, revealing the cost of trying to bury a horrific legacy.

352 pages, Hardcover

First published October 6, 2020

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Monica Black

4 books5 followers

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5 stars
52 (12%)
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141 (33%)
3 stars
181 (42%)
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40 (9%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 86 reviews
Profile Image for Jerrie.
989 reviews130 followers
December 14, 2020
Interesting and well-researched, but not what I was expecting based on the title. It’s more a look at faith healers in post-WWII Germany. The trauma of the war and a collective guilt and fear of divine retribution is noted as the cause for hope in more faith-based treatments. Much of the book is also focused on a particular faith healer.
Profile Image for Amber.
1,054 reviews37 followers
May 26, 2020
I enjoyed this! It was definitely different than what I originally had expected but was really good. It amazes me the lengths and what people would go through to get past WWII. It was kind of a different perspective on like faith healing and what people believed that witchcraft could do for them. Then all the misguided faith in what would help the people in regards to their grief, guilt and any kind of wound physical or mental. Definitely a book I want to revist and a book that when reading don't expect to fly through it. There is a lot of detailed information and its very eye opening to the beliefs at that time.
Profile Image for Ionia.
1,436 reviews67 followers
August 13, 2020
#ADemonHauntedLand #NetGalley
This book was absolutely fascinating from beginning to end. Occasionally during my research of WWII, I enjoy looking at the periods before and after the war. This book gives the reader a glimpse of German life and beliefs that many other books do not. The author has done an incredible job of writing a book that is both informative and exciting for the reader.

I found the sections of the book dealing with Bruno Groning particularly interesting. This author delved deep into the ideals of mysticism in the German lands and allowed the reader to explore how the belief systems in said country changed after the war.

The depictions of faith healing in front of enormous crowds were particularly fascinating since it hadn't been many years before that large crowds were gathering in rural areas and cities in Germany for a different reason. This book really highlights the sense of desperation and hope that people have even during the worst of times.

This is one of my favourite non-fiction books of the year, and I would be remiss if I did not recommend it to others.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher, provided through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
20 reviews1 follower
April 6, 2022
Nope. Начала за здравие, но до конца "упокоя" я даже не добралась.

Начало обещало глубокий анализ того, как немцы и немецкое гражданское общество справлялись с кризисом после второй мировой войны: как находили себе место после третьего рейха, как переживали денацификацию, справлялись со стрессом и стыдом. Первые главы в этом плане очень интересны, дают новый perspective и перекликаются с моими текущими мыслями. Духоподьемная хтонь.

Но как только заканчивается вводная часть, все сводится к повествованию с точки зрения одного примера "колдуна" той эпохи и манера повествования заставляет сомневаться в достоверности источников. Все ещё можно вычленить описание более общей картины, но это крупицы, а я уже не доверяю написанному.
Profile Image for Luka.
95 reviews
February 6, 2021
This book wasn't what I expected it to be. I thought we will get a general story of post WWII 'supernatural' occurences, but instead we got a biography of one Wunderdoktor (more or less). Nevertheless, it was an interesting read I would recommend. The Gröning story is quite interesting, and in some cases it makes you wonder if he was trying to become a new national figure who is in a way simillar to THE führer.

'The past refuses to be denied. History has ways of making itself felt no matter how sharply rebuffed, how studiously disavowed.'

'Sometimes, we just have to listen for what the ghosts have to tell.'
Profile Image for Erin .
257 reviews37 followers
June 18, 2021
Not what I was expecting at all. I can tell this is very researched but just did not hold enough to keep my attention. I love the ghost stories, witchcraft etc. But I jumped around and skipped pages.
Profile Image for Dan Burt.
585 reviews19 followers
June 12, 2023
3.5 stars. Most of the book focuses on German mystic Bruno Bernhard Gröning (bio, faith healing, legal difficulties) in post-WWII Germany. It briefly mentions witchcraft accusations during the same period. I mistakenly expected the book to provide a more in-depth overview of demons and witchcraft from a paranormal viewpoint.
Profile Image for RebelMel.
1 review
May 6, 2023
This book should come with a Deceptive Title Warning. There are no witches in this book. No ghosts of the past and no wonder doctors. This whole book is a hidden biography about just one wonder doctor, one pseudo healer who had 3 different identities. And, on top of it all, this book is so repetitive. The same opinions and facts and repeated over and over again making it too long to read for nothing. So disappointing. If I would have know, I would have never bought this book. Now I need to find another book about witches in post WWII Germany...
Profile Image for David.
Author 26 books171 followers
December 22, 2020
More a biography of the mystic Bruno Gröning than a catchall of German marginal personalities of the immediate post-war period.

Black's reading of Gröning is more vulgar freudo-marxist/cultural materialism than an elegant investigation of German mysticism as a consequence of failure in their political and war efforts.

The biggest problem for this book is the argument does not hold together, or convince the reader. Specifically, the argument that the psychic trauma left behind by the national socialists was channeled into occult subversion and repression. This would work if the occult was not a subset of German culture back into the 19th Century. Occult mania in Germany was a powerful influence before the war, during it, and for nearly a decade afterward. When this exhausted itself, the German people turned to materialism, capitalism, and futurism as a way to distance themselves from the trauma of their haunted past.

The extended biography, most of the book is consumed by this, of Bruno Gröning, is interesting but it does not save Black's argument.

Rating 2 out of 5 Stars

Most may safely give this book a pass.
Profile Image for Kristine.
3,245 reviews
November 17, 2020
A Demon-Haunted Land by Monica Black is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in mid-November.

Defamatory allegations of witchcraft and supernatural events taken to court in Germany between 1947-1965, due to unresolved trauma and guilt, quiet denial, and rampant suspicion at the end of the war. The book relays accounts of miracle doctors and healers (with an undercurrent of psychoanalysis), and their most fervent followers, exorcism, incubi, and the semblance of injustice made while cross-referencing a doctor's work. I just wish that it didn't come off so much like an academic paper.
Profile Image for Hilmeer VD.
31 reviews1 follower
May 5, 2021
This book is basically the story of faith healers in Western Germany after the war, especially one called Bruno Groning who became very populair in the late 40s. Faith healers are universal as are incidents of -assumed- witchcraft or exorcism but Black tries to tie them all together as a direct result of the state the nation and its people were in after the Nazi's were defeated and is not very convincing in this. There may well has been a greater need for figures like Groning to bring comfort and make sense of it all but the claim that the whole nation was swept away by Witches and Wonder healers -as is written on the cover- is not even clear from Blacks own account of the facts. Too bad, really, because she could have written an interesting story about the state of mind of the Germans after World War II but she gets stuck in a often too detailed mix of sensationalism and speculation.
Profile Image for Shrike58.
658 reviews12 followers
November 14, 2022
Inevitably something of a work of supposition and speculation, the author takes an interesting angle on how the social strains of post-1945 Germany led to an embrace of supposedly supernatural folk belief. Most of this book focuses on the phenomena of the faith healer Bruno Groning, or a wave of lawsuits and trials relating to the practice of witchcraft (usually instigated by the accused "witches"), and what it says about all the issues in the wake of the Third Reich that "couldn't" be talked about, in terms of just recompense and just retribution, when so many hands were dirty, and imaginations failed at how this abyss of human behavior had been reached. I have to admit that the overall impact is a little slighter than I thought it might be, but I was still happy to learn about some history which I was totally ignorant of.

Actual rating: The all-purpose 3.5 stars.
Profile Image for Chrystopher’s Archive.
530 reviews35 followers
January 29, 2021
This was an interesting book, but in a quieter way than I feel like the marketing promised.

Very in-depth and thorough, it was clearly well researched and the author knows the source material, but at times I did struggle to hold on to the narrative thread.

If you're looking for a light, pop-history type book (which I admit, I was) this is not the book for you. If you lean more towards the scholarly and academic, though, it might be, especially if you're interested in post WWII European history.
Profile Image for Jaime.
1,471 reviews2 followers
June 17, 2022
The premise of Monica Black's book is that post-WWII Germany was in a state of paranoia, collective guilt, and desperation. The weight of Nazi Germany's atrocities and crimes had broken the national spirit. The author presents this canvas as the perfect setting for what came next - social, spiritual, and moral disorder and chaos. The author is meticulous in capturing events, national sentiment, and influential people who brought on this period of pervading evil in a country given over to evil by the Nazis. She covers the malaise and desperation which gripped Germany from 1945 into the 1960s.

Ms. Black also writes extensively about a popular faith healer of the time. Bruno Groning. The 'wunderdoktor' defied tests and all attempts to discredit him and rode of popularity and success in the late-1940s and early-1950s. He was suspected of having supernatural powers by even the most skeptical of doubters. He was either an agent of the Lord or the devil. The country was also fixed on a Marian visions near Nuremberg from 1949 to1952. The author also shed a light on Waldemar Eberling, a Hexenbanner or witch banisher who operated in Germang during the 1940s into the 1950s. Like Groning. Eberling enjoyed a loyal following and harsh critics. His visions, cures. And spiritual battles with evil made him legendary among Germans. A lawsuit of fraud was brought against the ya healer but he was not convicted amidst claims of him being a watch. The paranoia was at a high level with these witch accusations and hunts. The comparison to the heinous scapegoating suffered by the Jewish people during the pre-WWII was unavoidable and cautionary. Still, the social upheaval continued.

The author also shed light on the noble crusade ofJohann Kruse. The former school teacher and small town mayor fought to stop the paranoia. While cabalistic and magic books were banned as a result, anti-semitism continued to flourish in Germany into the late-1950s. The blind faith of an afflcited Germany saw many former-Nazis and the general populaus embrace thes faith healers. Their deaths by the late-1950s reflected teh social and cultural death of Germany - hope replaced factual reliance. Post-war German society wanted a 'savior' and a movement ot a 'rebuilding' stage. The de-Nazification of Germany gave birth to the period of upheaval. The witch scares and mystical helaings raised questions of knowledge, ideas, and challenging the status quo.

While all these points and questions form the basis of many discussions, I must say that I was slightly disappointed with Monica Black's book. It started as a narrative about paranoai and fnaticism but ended up being a biographical accoint o Bruno Groning. Well done, but . . .
Profile Image for Dafna.
78 reviews27 followers
November 11, 2022
Складно читати зараз про війну, колективну відповідальність, заперечення причетності до знищення людей з боку окупантів і не проектувати ці події на 2022 рік. Деякі цитати, мені здавалось, зовсім не про 1945, а про сьогодні. Тому книга мене дуже захопила.

Гіпотеза Блек у тому, що сплеск віри у відьом та поява купи цілителів, за якими ходили натовпи, очікуючи, що ті вилікують усе від параліча до депресії, у післявоєнні роки пов‘язана з непроговореною колективною провиною та непроговоренним колективним усвідомленням своєї причетності до війни та Голокосту. Чарівні зцілення болячок давало колишнім колаборантам або ж тодішнім «внєполітікі» ніби відпущення гріхів, дозвіл на те, щоб жити далі без вини й муки про скоєне або ж те, чому ти не запобіг(ла).

Цікаве й доволі детальне дослідження, загалом. На стику історичної антропології, історії релігії і медицини.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Molly  Imber.
84 reviews2 followers
November 14, 2020
This book was fascinating, haunting, and utterly unforgettable. I will not forget this book in a hurry, and it has become an essential addition to my nonfiction collection. An excellent example of "liberal arts nonfiction," this book touches on everything through the dissection of an extremely niche chapter in world history.
Profile Image for Mackenzie Virginia.
604 reviews20 followers
February 2, 2021
The introduction and first chapter are fascinating. However, I struggled to remain interested in the rest of the book, and I found its organization disjointed. The audiobook narration is also quite choppy, but this may be a side effect of attempting to adapt a quotation-heavy work of nonfiction.

The book is interesting as a case study, but also exhaustive as one, and I wanted more from the conclusion.

Personally, i was more interested in the psychology and culture of post-war Germany as a whole, and I will be seeking out further reading on these subjects.
Profile Image for max.
20 reviews
January 11, 2023
This book is amazing. It’s dense, but it’s worth it. Don’t listen to the reviews that don’t understand what this book is about- that’s a reader problem. This is The Body Keeps The Score for historians.

This is about Germany after the Holocaust, before reconstruction. It is not about ghosts, it’s about trauma, it’s about a scandalized and violated nation, and it’s about history repeating itself- I’m not so many words
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
304 reviews1 follower
December 20, 2020
This was interesting! I truly enjoyed this.
I'm wondering if anymore nonfiction is similar to A Demon-Haunted Land?
Profile Image for Gregory Knyazev.
46 reviews
April 6, 2023
Довольно любопытное исследование того, как немцы на руинах своего Рейха пытались как-то справиться с отлетевшей кукухой. Что-то мне подсказывает, что нас скоро ждёт походая история.
Profile Image for AMP.
4 reviews
March 26, 2022
Very insightful on West German history After WWII.
I learned a lot about the impact of denazification on people‘s everyday life.

From middle to the end of this Book I was struggling to read further. For My Guts it was overloaded with detailed descriptions of individual cases.
Profile Image for Мария Кувшинова.
Author 5 books67 followers
August 25, 2022
Отличная вводная часть про ментальное и психическое состояние немецкого общества в первые годы войны, мастрид. Основной материал книги — история целителей, которые в этом контексте выполняли определенную функцию для травмированного общества.
Profile Image for TE.
307 reviews10 followers
February 2, 2022
This is one of the more fascinating albeit perplexing studies I've read in quite some time. It's more timely than I would have imagined, as it examines an outbreak of mass hysteria and devotion to cult-of-personality figures in the wake of an earth-shattering event, not unlike the times in which we find ourselves, although the latter on an admittedly micro scale compared to the mid-twentieth century. I was vaguely familiar with this curious episode following the second World War, but wanted to explore it in greater depth. In short, it seems that no ill fortune failed to befall a somewhat recalcitrant post-war Germany ("the whores are back at it"), here in the form of an old foe: the devil, and his minions.

This well-researched and supported monograph (sans comprehensive bibliography, which is a drag) explores a curious series of events and figures which arose in devastated post-war Germany, including yet another outbreak of witchcraft hysteria. Perhaps this reaction was simply a fallback on a familiar scapegoat for society's ills, which had plagued Germany for centuries. This region was, after all, the epicenter of the most vicious and destructive witchcraze in recorded history: despite notorious difficulties in determining an exact number of victims (author Anne Barstow, author of "Witchcraze: A New History of the European Witch Hunts" noted, saliently, that "working with the statistics of witchcraft is like working with quicksand"), most researchers estimate that at least a hundred thousand people - the vast majority women - were accused, and possibly half of those were executed - officially. The true count will never be known.

Nor will the extent of the far-reaching social consequences. Many more victims were subjected to severe punishment and almost perpetual persecution, which included banishment, exorbitant fines, beatings and torture, that is not to say ostracism, all of which doubtlessly resulted in many more deaths than were ever actually recorded and affected the social fabric for generations to come. We have by way of example the notorious Salem witch trials: nineteen persons were "executed" officially, but how many more died in prison, or as a result of their extended captivity, held in appalling conditions whereby their physical condition deteriorated to a state which resulted in their premature deaths? Those numbers are not recorded. How pervasive was the fear of diabolical forces in Germany (or at least the region which would become the modern nation-state)? The last execution of a convicted witch was in German-speaking Switzerland...

in 1782.

People were still executing witches in Europe ... *nearly a HUNDRED years after the Salem debacle*.

In the wake of Germany's defeat rose another class of mystic, however, which surprised some, considering the period from which Germans had just emerged. A cadre of what we would likely term "lay healers" emerged from obscurity to become world-famous in the few years after the end of the war. Chief among them was Bruno Groning, an enigmatic figure which people described as something of a cross between Rasputin and Adolph Hitler, such was his hypnotic renown.

Apparently these healers, as with accused witches, were nothing new. In fact, they were so pervasive, and, ostensibly, problematic, that Bavaria enacted a ban on what was termed "lay healers," whose activities fell outside of established medical science. Official bans were a small obstacle to the faithful, however. As his renown grew, people by the thousands would come to whatever location this traveling showman happened to haunt at the time, seeking cures for all sorts of ailments, many we would recognize today as combat PTSD in the wake of on of the most destructive conflagrations in human history. One curious twist was that Groning was apparently a folk medicine specialist who surprisingly didn't charge for his services, at least not directly - at least not initially.

Such was the fervor Groning's "treatments" prompted, when the post-war government tried to ban them, it caused a near riot in the town where he resided, where thousands of people had camped out in support of him. He soon thereafter went into exile, but his specter still loomed large, much to the chagrin of local authorities, who had to deal with the logistics of masses of people, often numbering in the thousands, showing up in their ravaged small towns.

Groning was called everything from an angel, to the messiah, to one who "lived with God" (his own description of himself), to the new Hitler, which made many officials uncomfortable, especially seeing as how his sycophants often had former Nazi, even SS, affiliation. The media not surprisingly became transfixed with this figure, with two reporters publishing a weekly series in 1949 chronicling his exploits. "The series' initial issues were dedicated to the proposition that an 'intolerant' medical establishment was standing between the people and the restoration of their health. 'I cure the incurable,' Groning told Revue."

The more things change, the more they stay the same. This curious episode reminds me of a scathing missive I once composed regarding a similar modern-day figure, one John Sarno, whose methods were disturbingly similar to those of Groning and other so-called "healers": it's not an injury causing your back pain... it's your failed relationships, sort of thing. Google this dude: he sells something similar. Case in point: Sarno once stated: "I believe healing the relationship with the self is the key to happiness and freedom from past pain and trauma... I truly believe that full recovery is possible for anyone if they are willing to confront their issues." The point here is, as with Groning, who claimed that 90% of people were cool, but there was that 10% he couldn't help, because they were just plain eeevil... or witches, or in league with the devil, or whatever, was that it was the afflicted's fault that they were diseased, not the healer's fault that he couldn't treat them.

The implication is obvious: if you fail to recover after receiving MY treatment... it's your fault. You're not willing to confront your "issues". You don't have enough faith; otherwise, you would be healed. My treatment is 100% effective, guaranteed... unless you aren't willing to confront your "issues"; then, the failing is yours, not mine. The modern-day, self-described luminary, who was essentially run out of Dodge by his own colleagues at NYU, decided to eschew the scientific community entirely to strike out on his own, publishing a steady stream of so-called self-help books. A New York Times article noted that "[b]ecause his colleagues wouldn't listen, he bypassed the journals [i.e., which, in the interest of public safety and credulity, demand evidence-based, peer-reviewed scholarship which must adhere to established standards and pass rigorous academic scrutiny before acceptance for publication and dissemination to a broader audience] and instead wrote best-selling books." Although his methods have been long criticized, his disciples, and apostles, profess a near-religious devotion to him, despite the evidence to the contrary that his methods are not only largely ineffective when held to scientific scrutiny, they may actually be counterproductive, according to some studies which suggest that cancer outcomes are actually worse when patients are told that their attitude can make a difference - again, blaming the patient's personal weakness and lack of fortitude for their poor outcome.

Yes, kids: this still goes on, if only by a different name. Then there are the gen-u-ine faith healers: check out Benny Hinn and his magic jacket if you haven't had the (dis)pleasure. What did P.T. Barnum once say... something to the effect, "there's a sucker born every minute?"

There's something to this common phenomena, however, which we would all do well to educate ourselves about, to gain an understanding of the dynamics. I'm surprised that similar figures haven't arisen in the wake of the global pamdenic in which we find ourselves, honestly. As the author here noted, "narratives proliferate in the spaces between what is known and what isn't, especially in the spaces where life and knowledge are the most fragile. Illness is mysterious. It comes without warning, and its sources are often hidden. By explaining death or illness or bad luck, witchcraft acts as a form of theodicy, a way of understanding why bad things... happen when they do, and to whom."

This is more attested in our own time with every passing day. We've seen something similar with the vaccination phenomenon, whereby contracting the dreaded 'rona is often interpreted to mean that you committed some transgression: you failed to mask up appropriately, to social distance, to adhere to the ever-changing government advice and mandates which dictate safety. The author notes, appropriately: "... illness could be rich in meaning... it could reveal personal shame, or religious or social transgression. Illness was shot through with moral concern, and the potential for moral judgment. Illness was [and still is] often perceived as some form of cosmic judgment, as punishment for improper or irresponsible behavior. It reflected the order of society and the cosmos writ large, and could reveal sins of various orders of magnitude. As such, I structured the community's moral economy: those who suffered... had lived wrong. Perhaps they had not worked hard enough, or had behaved irresponsibly, creating a social burden for the community."

This is a timely book, which provides vital instruction regarding people's reaction to traumatic events. That often involves resorting to the known and familiar, to explain calamity: in this case, witches and healers, both of whom operate beyond the known world, which was seen as responsible for bringing so much death and destruction, eroding people's trust in civilization itself. No wonder so many resorted to the fantastical as a viable alternative.
Profile Image for Sue Smith.
1,214 reviews54 followers
February 18, 2021
This is quite an interesting look at the country of Germany after WWII - not at the cold hard facts as it were, at the actions and situations in a country that had led a pointed attempt at genocide of the Jews, but how they - the people, the Volk, of the country - had to deal with it afterwards. The elephant in the room, as it were. It was some elephant!

I was curious to see how someone would - could - get past this horrific past that you were swept up in. I mean , if you’ve survived the last 6 years of an horrific world war on the side of the aggressor, then chances are you had some complicit part in the play……. Wouldn’t you? I mean, your actions or inactions still are choices and you are aware of it in your own mind, so how do you get past it all? How do you start the healing process?

Of course that unspoken element, the elephant in the room as it were, makes people blame others or point to others as a way of deflecting attention away from themselves. It’s a good way to stay invisible. But it’s a tactic that has limited success at best, and usually is a sure fire way to reflect back on you. In Germany, with fairy tales being an intrinsic element of their history, finding witches became an easy way of spreading the fear to others and deflecting the attention away from their actions from the war.

It was also interesting that the had a guru rise up from the rubble as well - one who could heal simply by setting his mind - and concentrated stare - upon the subject at hand. It became quite a show and people flocked to wherever he was to see if they could become better. It was quite a phenomena and lasted for a number of years after the war.

Any way you look at it , it was a torn people and there was a lot of mending to do.
770 reviews7 followers
October 28, 2020
Black explores the place of witch-craft accusations in the pre- and post- second world war Germany.
The central part of Germany (especially Bavaria) have been hotbeds for witches and demons. It has been part of the popular culture since the dark ages especially around the time of the black plague. Scapegoats have always been necessary to explain all and any "bad" things that happened. For many years the main scapegoats were the Jews and Gypsies.

Hitler was able to use this history before and during WW2 as a way to explain that Germans were super-men, and Jews were the bane of the German people. But after the war there weren't any Jews left to scapegoat. Her points are well documented and analyzed until she tries to create a parallel situation for post WW2.

She spends way to much time following two men who were both accused of non regulated medical and spiritual treatments. It appears that she is just beating the same dead horse for the last half of the book and just kept making the same point over and over.
May 26, 2021
I expected more from this book. I was disappointed. I thought it would be more about the strange events that took place in all aspects of post-WWII German life. Hoping it would cover things like UFO sightings or Marian apparitions in more detail than it did. It is mainly the story of faith healing and corrupt so-called doctors and the hold they had over people. It does touch on accusations of witchcraft which rears its ugly head throughout history in various forms, but it never reached the proportions it has in past times (Inquisition, witch trials, etc.). I struggled to finish this book. Would have been much better had there been more concentration on the Marian apparitions and other supernatural events. Surely the people of Germany were guilt-ridden and hopeless after WWII, which leaves people open to more paranormal incidents. That someone could spend so much time on what was basically the story of a con-man when there would have been a goldmine of other unsettling events in Germany post-war is a bit confusing.
Profile Image for Annie.
2,090 reviews109 followers
November 25, 2020
After World War II, Germany had to rebuilt itself literally, politically and—as we learn in Monica Black’s intriguing book, A Demon-Haunted Land—psychologically. Black dove into state and newspaper archives to reveal a history I’d never heard about. In the 1950s, spiritual healers and witch hunts broke out in the new West Germany. Faith healers are nothing new to American me, but in Germany? And witch hunts? Black uses the evidence to explain how healers and hunters were a deeply, troubling psychological response to the crimes and horrors of the Third Reich...

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, for review consideration.
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