Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum
Those Who Save Us is a fantastic historical fiction book. The author, Jenna Blum does an incredible job of simultaneously telling the stories of two women: Anna, a woman who grew up in Germany during World War II and Trudy, Anna’s daughter and a professor of German history who begins investigating her past.
Anna grew up and lived in the Weimar, Germany during World War II. She is not proud of a lot of things she did to survive during the war and wants to keep the past in the past. After the war, Weimar and neighboring Buchenwald Concentration Camp (it was only 8 km from the city center) were liberated by American soldiers, one of which Anna married. She, along with her daughter, moved with him to his farmhouse in rural Minnesota.
Flash forward to the present day where Trudy is a grown woman and is a professor at a university in Minnesota. She agrees to work with a colleague and collect oral histories from German survivors of the war. As Trudy conducts the interviews, she becomes more and more curious about her mother’s past.Eventually Trudy’s work and Anna’s past collide.
Those Who Save Us is more than historical fiction. The book is about what one must sometimes do to survive and the lasting shame it can bring.