Doesn’t that title just pull you in? It sure did for me. How could a Nazi soldier and a Jewish woman ever fall in love? But it happened!
This is an amazing story about two individuals that were greatly affected by WWII. It turned their lives upside down. With death and destruction around them all the time, somehow Agnes and Gustav survived. And not only did they just survive, they married and had children.
This book is so interesting. It dives into Agnes’ life who was a Jew by descent and not by religion. She was actually a practicing Catholic living in Hungary. I had no idea that they were sent to concentration camps as well! Because her grandmother was Jewish, Agnes was considered a Jew and was sent to Auschwitz with her parents.
Gustav was a farm boy in Norway who got wrapped up in the big talk of socialism. I thought it was so interesting that no one ever told him the right people to follow. He was young and had to choose his own path. After being told by the National Socialist Party that he could be a police officer, he was actually taken to boot camp and made into a guard to a prison filled with mostly Jews (which he didn’t know at the time). He hated the job, but the only way to get out was to become an SS Soldier and fight on the front lines which is what he did.
It’s amazing to hear their stories and how many different times they were individually protected and saved from death.
One of my favorite things about this book was that it wasn’t too gruesome and horrifying which I know WWII was definitely both. Some details were mentioned, but nothing that made me not want to read the book. I know really bad things happened in the war, but I just can’t read about it. This book was very well balanced.
I love that this story was about hope and Agnes found ways to serve others even while being a prisoner.
I also love that this story is told from the memories of Agnes and Gustav and told in first person (who are both still living!). It also shares facts about the war to supplement and give a little more background about the war.
This book is definitely worth reading. You can learn about the lives of these two amazing people and all that they had to overcome to eventually leave the war behind them
in Surviving Hitler at Deseret Book!
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