Let Me Go
In 1998, Schneider is summoned to her 90 year-old mother's nursing home in Vienna. The last time she has seen her mother is 27 years earlier. Then, she had asked her to try on her treasured SS uniform, and wanted to give her sev...more
Sparse, powerful, and compelling.
I finished it the evening before Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is fitting. (The internationally recognized date for Holocaust Remembrance Day corresponds to the 27th day of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar. It marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. In Hebrew, Holocaust Remembrance Day is called Yom Hashoah. In 2020 the date it falls on is April 21.)
This is a raw first person account. The crux is t ...more
It's bad enough that a woman would abandon her two small children without hesitati ...more
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
Schneider struggles with her mother’s existence and ...more
An haunting story, but the writing and the way it was told didn’t really appeal to me. Possibly the awful facts that it gives testimony of and the figure of the mother (cruel and senile; manipulative and longing for love) makes it a hard book to digest.
To be a child of a person whose integrity is strongly aligned with the beliefs of the SS who did unspeakable things to men ...more
This made for difficult reading in parts, chiefly due to the mother’s obvious sadistic, egotistical nature. Following a thirty year estrangement, Helga is persuaded to visit her ailing mother in her care home in an attempt to gain some answers about her past. Her mother was ultimately convicted an ...more
How do you confront the fact your mother was a Nazi concentration camp guard? How do you reconcile that she abandoned you and your baby brother because her love for the Nazi regime was greater than her love for you? How do you live with the knowledge she has no remorse or regret for her acts and indeed, proclaims pride and glee over her actions in Ravensbrück and Auschwitz?
Helga Schneider has not seen her mother Traudi in 20 years. When she is contacted by her mo ...more
Yes, it's interesting/horrifying to hear a first hand account from someone who is (still) loyal to Hitler.
Yes, it's an abandoned daughter who is trying to understand her mother's leaving.
Mostly? It's an obsessed daughter who is trying to vilify her mother to make it "ok" that she left. She pushes a 90 year old woman, who has had to live with her actions, and yeah, sticks with the whole 'what I did for the Fuhrer, I did because ...more
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 re ...more
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?
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
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
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
Helga e Pet ...more
Por un instante me quedé sin habla.
—¿Por qué? ¿Por qué me odia? —le pregunté cuando me hube recuperado.
—Porque su madre era celadora en Birkenau y creo que la recuerdo. Era una rubia de mano de hierro que un día me arrancó los incisivos con una porra. Era así, ¿no? Una rubia fuerte... —Me miraba con una agresividad cargada de resentimiento.
—No... no lo sé —balbucí.
—¿No sabe si su madre era rubia o no? ¡Tendrá una foto, algo! ¡Quiero saberlo, quiero saber si aquella rubia de Birkenau era su madre!”