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Tuesday, February 1, 2022

The German Wife by Debbie Rix

Despite the story being set towards the end of WWII, military and authoritarian regimes still exist sadly. Slow annhiliation of people based on ethnic, religious lines still go on apace and the rest of the world does nothing. We do not seem to have learnt anything from the Nazi experience. The Nazi regime, WWII and Hitler has brought about a whole world of writers - all the stories excellent reading, all convoluted and dealing with so many aspects of this horrible era in world history. This was another such book - told from the part of a SS family living in Germany - half of them faithful followers of Hitler until they were faced with the brutality of the regime. Dr Vogel was a research scientist. He considered himself a good German, faithful to Hitler's teachings until his career came head on with the torture and brutality of the camps. Dr Vogel was too involved in his work, and not made to suffer or allow his family to suffer and he went along with whatever was doled out till the end. His wife Annaliese far removed from his actual working life, did not know or rather preferred not to know what was going on in her husband's working life. The chilling factor in the story was that though Annaliese and Hans were married for eight years there were no children. This was a failing from the Reich's point of view. It was the duty of SS officers to have children and this could mean banishment for the Vogels. A machiavellian plan came up in Hans's mind to use the services of their gardener Alexander, a Russian prisoner to father a child for them. Annaliese was halfway in love with Alexander when the plan was discussed but Alexander himself was not aware of the plot till years after. The story takes over from there - continuing to the fall of the Nazis and the Vogels making their escape to America (separately) and a time apart. The twist in the story is different from other books dealing with the era - even from the Nazi angle and made it quite unique. Thanks to Bookouture who sent me this novel to read and give an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.