Saturday, June 5, 2010

Those Who Save Us

I finished a book last night that is still with me. Very haunting, very sad....extremely well written. "Those Who Save Us," by Jenna Blum, flips back and forth between a mother in 1940's Germany during World War II, and 1993-1997 Minnesota from her grown daughter's perspective in Minneapolis.

Many parts of the story are very difficult to read - the atrocities inflicted on the Jewish people of the time, the enormous cruelty of the Nazi's, and the horrible struggles of the German people that carry forth into the modern day with both mother and daughter. The vivid images, the sadness and horror of what people lived through...is something that we should never forget. My Uncle Bill, who was one of the soldiers who marched into Dachau, was much like the character, Anna. All these years later, he will not speak of it.

On another interesting note, the detailed descriptions of Minnesota and the cold winters here are obviously written by a woman who has lived here.

A very well-researched, worthwhile read, Blum says it best at the end. In her acknowledgements at the back of the book, Blum states: "And to the survivors themselves, who demonstrated unparalleled courage and generosity in sharing their stories, I cannot express adequate gratitude in words: perhaps it will suffice to say that you are living miracles and nothing you have said will ever be forgotten."