Top 10 Novels About Post-War Germany | Imagination

My mother, with her wartime childhood, refused to set foot on German soil. But in 1975, I moved to Berlin. At the airport, she took the golden virgin Mary around her neck and placed it on me. Until then my life had been surrounded by a “Britain won the war” story. Over time I became a novelist and learned to see the novel as a story against the story of society. I had picked up the material for now.

How did Germany deal with its wartime heritage? I stayed with an old man on the Nazi war crime register, got a job, and traveled in the Communist East Zone beyond the Berlin Wall. Those experiences triggered my first novel, Ann’s Bend Knees, in 1992. Began a lifelong inquiry into how the guilt and trauma of war are passed on to subsequent generations.

I found some books that explored the recent tradition of the Germans: this country, which lost two world wars, was divided into two after the Industrial Genocide and 1945. In 1950, Heinrich Paul wrote his first novel, The Silent Angel, in an attempt to create immediate post-war ruins. Of colon. His publishers felt that the public was not yet ready for such an introspection and it was not published until Paul’s death. Germany had war tests, but no “truth and reconciliation” process because it destroyed millions of people who might have compromised.

Thirty years later, as Ann’s bent knees reissued in its anniversary edition, I reviewed the field. It has grown. Many of the books on this list are for children to ask, “What do my adults know?” With the question of. The answers are hidden. Some adults were complicit in the wartime horrors, while others headed west in a wave of refugees leaving Russian forces. Foreign writers joined in this mix because history offers novelists any stellar landscape to explore. Britain transformed itself after Brexit and after Russia’s war on Ukraine, these novels are as relevant as ever.

1. The One from the Other by Philip Kerr (2006)
In 1949, Bernie Gunder re-established himself as a private detective in Munich. In real noir mode, a woman’s death haunts him – but Bernie has some SS history of his own, and soon finds out he’s been hunted. Who is the ally, who is the enemy in this Germany – how to tell one from the other?

2. Lost by Hans-Ulrich Dreichel (1999)
The narrator’s brother was lost as a child during a refugee flight from an upcoming Russian contingent and was thrown into the arms of strangers. The narrator knows that his birth is less than a consolation gift. His parents yearn for Arnold to be found. The bureaucracy is capturing. The perversion of the narrator’s voice caused surprise, and it made me laugh.

3. Floats in my mother’s palm by Ursula Heki (1990)
Born in the last year of the war, Hannah grew up in a small town in the Rhine. At the age of 12, he begins to unravel and guess the background stories of the people who live in his city. There are war ghosts in this patchwork of life, but memories of the region’s floods and domestic family dramas dominate this total charm.

4. Heinrich Paul (1959) by Billiards at Half-Fast Nine
As one September 1958 approaches its 80th birthday, the story unfolds with reflections of different characters. Three generations of architects and the people in their circle look back on the ups and downs of the 20th century abbey, the lives lost, the fascinated and resisted by Nazi power. A masterpiece, a comprehensive novel of compromise. Bowll’s deserves the Nobel Prize.

Kate Winslet and David Cross in the 2008 film The Reader Photo: Weinstein Co. Gopal / Shutterstock

5. Bernhard Schlink (1995) by The Reader
Fifteen-year-old Michael is seduced by Hannah in her 30s. He dies happily. Was he abused? Why does he feel guilty? She disappears six years after the war trial that Michael notices. She was a camp guard who caused the deaths of hundreds. He continued a long-distance relationship while she was in prison, and now reads cassettes of books he recognizes as illiterate Hannah. Guilt and pleasure bind generations to a somewhat explored life.

6. The Spy Who Came in the Gold – John Lee Carey (1963)
Alec Limas withdrew from conducting British spy operations in Berlin and was overthrown by his East German envoy. “Control”, his UK boss, brings him back. In a plot with double crosses, and in a city that has lost all hope, Limas wipes out a sign and leaves to design something real. This new paradigm for the spy novel is influenced by Albert Camus, who explores the meaninglessness of a morally bankrupt world.

7. You may have missed me who wrote Birkit Vanderback (2016)
Our narrator is seven. At the age of five her mother fled west, snatching her away from everything she knew about life in East Germany. The house becomes a refugee camp and the woman is delighted to see the company at its meetings. The social climb of her parents is to leave the people she loves. Instead she tells stories. Based on the author’s own 1960s childhood.

8. German House by Annette Hess (2018)
In Frankfurt in the 1960s, Eva was torn. In his late 20s, his fiance wanted her to be a housewife staying at home. He is determined to serve as a translator for Poland in the current trials of the Nazis and now civilians responsible for Auschwitz’s horrors. She is newly aware of the hidden atrocities and sees the guilt spreading to everyone she knows. The novel skillfully blends studies of the past of a family and a nation, a love affair and a woman’s search for self – identity.

9. Jenny Erbenbeck’s Visit (2008)
A house on the eastern edge of Berlin, viewed by tenants and owners. This includes its Jewish owners and the architect who bought it when it was fleeing Nazi oppression. Erbenbeck brings with him his own East German tradition, depicting the writer and his family moving on to the next, dealing with the new meaning of property rights in the communist state. Until this writer is even made to continue.

10. Written by Christina Cork here in Berlinia (2017)
Visitor, like the Cuban-American writer, spent the months of 2013 in Berlin. “What concessions did the war make to ensure its survival?” He brings up questions like. Can this 21st century Germany still explore its post-war status? It seems so. He draws vivid and varied stories from survivors in the city. There are some real photos, one plucked from the tin drum of Thug Cross, and everyone offers their own versions of Honesty.

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