The Broken House
Horst Kruger, Shaun Whiteside
‘Exquisitely written… haunting… Few books, I think, capture so well the sense of a life broken for ever by trauma and guilt’ Sunday Times
‘An unsparing, honest and insightful memoir, that shows how private failure becomes national disaster’ Hilary Mantel
Twenty years after the end of the war, Horst Kruger attempted to make sense of his childhood. He had grown up in a quiet Berlin suburb. Here, people lived ordinary lives, believed in God, obeyed the law, and were gradually seduced by the promises of Nazism.
He had been ‘the typical child of innocuous Germans who were never Nazis, and without whom the Nazis would never have been able to do their work’. With tragic inevitability, this world of respectability, order and duty began to crumble.
Written in accomplished prose of lingering beauty, The Broken House is a moving coming-of-age story that provides a searing portrait of life under the Nazis.
Exquisitely written... haunting... Few books, I think, capture so well the sense of a life broken for ever by trauma and guilt -- Dominic Sandbrook * Sunday Times * A masterpiece. An astonishing piece of literature. Complex, heartfelt, vibrant, intense, urgent. A must read. I read it straight through to the last page and then wanted to read it all over again -- Thomas Harding, bestselling author of Hanns and Rudolf The major rediscovery of a forgotten treasure. No book has ever so honestly evoked the wretched terror of life in Nazi Germany -- James Hawes, author of The Shortest History of Germany I often think that the key to a successful memoir is to find the right place to stand, the effective distance. Writing in the sixties, Kruger had enough clarity to see where his story fitted into the big picture, but he can still make the reader feel the passion, danger and grief. It is an unsparing, honest and insightful memoir, that shows how private failure becomes national disaster. There is no mercy from the author and no false hope, but he fills a gap in the historical imagination -- Hilary Mantel A book of hard-won simplicity and quite beautiful precision * The Times *
Book experts at your service
What are you looking for?