Let Me Go

Let Me Go

Book - 2004
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Unforgettable and deeply arresting, Let Me Go is a haunting memoir of World War II that "won't let you go until you've finished reading the last page" ( The Washington Post Book World ). In 1941, in Berlin, Helga Schneider's mother abandoned her along with her father and younger brother. Let Me Go recounts Helga's final meeting with her ailing mother in a Vienna nursing home some sixty years after World War II, in which Helga confronts a nightmare: her mother's lack of repentance about her past as a Nazi SS guard at concentration camps, including Auschwitz, where she was responsible for untold acts of torture. With spellbinding detail, Schneider recalls their conversation, evoking her own struggle between a daughter's sense of obligation and the inescapable horror of her mother's deeds.
Publisher: New York : Walker & Co., 2004.
ISBN: 9780143035176
0143035177
9780802714350
0802714358
Branch Call Number: 943.086 Schneider 2004
Characteristics: 166 p. ;,20 cm.
Alternative Title: Lasciami andare, madre

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g
gurlmom
Apr 14, 2010

Fast, gripping read. I couldn't put it down. Harrowing.

k
KarenW
Nov 14, 2005

What attracts me to these books, I cannot say. I do enjoy historical reads and this small book is a memoir of a time period that I am interested in, to a point. But this book turns into one of those situations where you cannot look away no matter how bad it gets. A visit to a Vienna nursing home by a daughter to see a mother she does not know or understand is part of a story that is a compelling read. The other part is the fact that the mother was a guard in Auschwitz-Birkenau and Ravensbruck which came as a big surprise to her now grown daughter. In fact the shock of finding this out was only eclipsed by hearing that her mother was very good at her job. But very bad at being a mother. Abandoning her two children, she now insists they are dead even though her daughter is standing in front of her. Her behavior suggests some kind of mental disorder, but her thoughtful answers to her daughter''s probing questions only make her look sane. The strength of her daughter to bring this record to life is as astounding as her justifications and adherence to the Nazi ideology that are the only proof of her involvement in mass murder.

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