This book had been on my shelf for a while, and I'm not even sure when or why I bought it, since I felt certain that I had read/heard/seen more than enough books/documentaries/movies on WWII and the Holocaust.
But since I've determined to read at least a dozen new books this year—no re-reads; and there was Irmgard Hunt's memoir sitting on the shelf. . .
I realized early in that I had never before read anything quite like this; certainly nothing from the perspective of a young German girl, anyway—a perspective I'd not even really considered before.
SUPREMELY HONEST . . . AN IMPORTANT BOOK. —Peter Gay, Sterling Professor Emeritus of History, Yale University
VITAL . . . HUNT'S IS A PRECAUTIONARY REMINDER OF WHAT CAN HAPPEN WHEN AN ORDINARY SOCIETY CHOOSES A CULT OF PERSONALITY OVER RATIONAL THOUGHT. —Library Journal
Those quotes are not overstated.
Ms. Hunt, while writing of her childhood memories from a childish perspective, does so with the maturity and grace gained over a lifetime, and I couldn't help but love her. The author's supreme honesty is so mingled with respect, that I have gleaned some understanding not only of what can happen "when an ordinary society chooses a cult of personality over rational thought," but also of why an ordinary society would make that choice. We all are only human, and if we refuse to learn from the past we are destined to make the same mistakes in the future.
I read this book through from Preface to Post Script—literally cover to cover; something I will admit to not usually doing. And if, like me, you feel certain that you've read/heard/seen more than enough books/documentaries/movies on WWII and the Holocaust, let me highly recommend you read one more.