Today, April 23, 2017, is World Book Day. Fittingly, I spent an hour in Half Price Books searching for my next German read. I grabbed Alles Über Autos ($7.49) for my toddler and the German Pimsleur Plus set ($9.99) for myself. By the way, if you live near a Half Price Books, be sure to enter your email address on the website before you go (or while you’re there) for a 10% off coupon.
One of the most interesting German movies I’ve watched in recent months is Eine Frau in Berlin. It’s the sobering true story of a German woman — representative of nearly two million German women — raped by Russian soldiers after Germany’s defeat. I ordered the book on Amazon just last week, and it’s being shipped from the UK, so it hasn’t arrived yet. However, it’s worth mentioning on World Book Day because it is an actual German book, in German, rather than a translation of an American book.
Also, my husband and I just had an interesting discussion about the fate of the German women. The Guardian article addresses it in this paragraph:
Hoss is aware of the ambiguity of a character who was both a victim of the Russians and a convinced Nazi. “I had to ask myself, why did this young, educated, well-travelled German adopt the ideology of the National Socialists?” she says. “I could not portray her simply as an innocent victim. On the other hand she is impressive – amid all the horror she finds the strength to reflect on who the Russians are and why they are doing this to her. It requires a lot of strength and honesty to be able to think five minutes after a rape that it is revenge for what the Germans did in Russia.”
It’s an understandably sensitive topic for all involved, and as an American, it’s not my place to publicly comment about. It is an intriguing period of history that’s rarely discussed here in the U.S. I can’t wait for the book to get here so I can start working my way through it and learning some new vocabulary and grammar along the way.
What are you reading for World Book Day?