Let Me Go
The extraordinary memoir, praised across Europe, of a daughter's final encounter with her mother, a former SS guard at Auschwitz.
In 1941, in Berlin, Helga Schneider's mother abandoned her, her younger brother, and her father. Thirty years later-- when she saw her mother again for the first time-- Schneider discovered the shocking reason: Her mother had joined the Nazi SS and had become a guard in concentration camps, including Auschwitz-Birkenau and Ravensbrück, where she was in charge of a "correction" unit and responsible for untold acts of torture.
Nearly three more decades would pass before their second and final reunion, an emotional encounter at a Vienna nursing home, where her mother, then eighty-seven and unrepentant about her past, was ailing. Let Me Go is an extraordinary account of that meeting. Their conversation-- which Schneider recounts in spellbinding detail-- triggers childhood memories, and she weaves these into her account, powerfully evoking the misery of Nazi and postwar Berlin. Yet it is her internal struggle-- a daughter's sense of obligation colliding with the inescapable horror of what her mother has done-- that will stay with readers long after the book has ended.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - AlisonY - LibraryThing
I deliberately sought out this book after some of my earlier reading on WWII. I had a lot of questions in my mind about Nazi Germany - what did regular Germans think of the Nazi activities? Why did ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - akblanchard - LibraryThing
I don't think Helga Schneider's mother would have been a very nice person no matter when or where she was born. But, unfortunately for a lot of people, she was born in Austria in the early part of the ... Read full review