Sarah-Hope's Reviews > The German House

The German House by Annette Hess
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bookshelves: 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 the number of coincidences needed to bring together different threads—and characters—in the plot. These coincidences, however, allow exploration of the trials from multiple perspectives: both among those living in Germany during WWII and among those living there in the present day.

Somehow, Eva has grown up in Germany with little or no knowledge of the WWII death camps. While this hardly seems credible, it does allow the reader to share her gradual awakening to the extent of the horrors. The first half of the novel, when Eva is learning about the camps, moves slowly to document her gradual realization. The second half of the novel, when Eva has learned about the camps and become committed to bringing the perpetrators to justice, moves much more swiftly. The speed of plotting is directly connected to Eva's ability to trust and act on her own knowledge and adds to the the emotional experience of reading the book.

The German House is well worth reading for its exploration of a lesser-known moment in German history and for the myriad conundrums it poses about humans' ability to perceive even their worst behavior in a non-critical light.

I received a free electronic ARC of this title for review purposes. The opinions are my own.
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Reading Progress

August 11, 2019 – Shelved
August 11, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
August 11, 2019 – Shelved as: edelweissplus
August 14, 2019 – Shelved as: 2019
September 23, 2019 – Started Reading
September 25, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Great review. We seem to like a lot of the same books. I have this one but was waiting to see some reviews, Do you think it's worth the read?


Sarah-Hope Dorie - Traveling Sister :) wrote: "Great review. We seem to like a lot of the same books. I have this one but was waiting to see some reviews, Do you think it's worth the read?"

Yes. It gives one a lot to mull over and becomes increasingly engaging as one moves through it.


Lindsay - Traveling Sister Great review!


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Sarah-Hope wrote: "Dorie - Traveling Sister :) wrote: "Great review. We seem to like a lot of the same books. I have this one but was waiting to see some reviews, Do you think it's worth the read?"

Yes. It gives one..."


thanks maybe I'll give this one a try next,I need a break from thrillers :)


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