The Women in the Castle

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The author, Jessica Shattuck, offers us a rare glimpse into the mindsets of 3 different German women and how they dealt with the onset of Hitler’s war, propaganda and the aftermath of the war. Finely researched and masterfully told, this is one of the best novels regarding women’s role and the role of the average, ordinary German. Hitler’s takeover was incrementally insidious as he divided the people into groups and and touted those of ‘true’ Germanic blood. Many, if not most Germans turned a blind eye to what was happening to those scapegoated by Hitler, to those sent to the gas chambers. They did not want to see what was happening in front of them. By the time ordinary Germans were confronted by the horrors of the war, it was too late.
Bringing this down to the most basic level, it is about judging others and about ill conceived prejudices. Something we should be mindful of today.

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