Prisoner of Night and Fog & Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke
It seemed that the perfect first post would be the two books that I used in our very first history post. Prisoner of Night and Fog and Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke are companion novels by Anne Blankman.
Gretchen Muller is the darling of the Nazi party, the pet of none other an Adolf Hitler. But thanks to a young Jewish reporter, Gretchen begins to see the truth about her beloved party and the truth about her papa’s death. This information, however, sets her up as a prime target of the SA (of which her brother is apart) and the Nazis. Blankman’s stories are terrifying and mesmerizing, and better yet, thoroughly researched (each book contains a works cited page). She gives readers an inside look at not only the inner workings of the Nazi party, but also explores the psychological state of Hitler and many Nazis/SA members. Book #2 focuses largely on Hitler’s rise to power and the story behind the infamous Reichstag Fire.
If you are looking for a well-researched WWII story. This is it. Furthermore, if you are looking for a deeper understanding of the psychology of Adolf Hitler, but don’t necessarily want to bog yourself down with reports from psychology journals, than these are definitely the books for you.
You’ll learn more about the infamous SA, the group that Hitler later killed off because of their violence. You’ll get an inside view of what it’s like to be a member of the party. And from the inside view, you will learn why they were so very, very evil. You’ll learn more about the Reichstage Fire and travel with Gretchen into the Reichstage after the fire took place. You’ll see first hand how quickly Hitler could turn on someone. But, you’ll also get to see Hitler at home; an almost pathetic-looking man, who yearned to be accepted. So, yes, you get a well-rounded picture of the man. But what better way to learn about one of the most evil men in all of history?
In my experience with historical fiction, I have actually learned more about history than any ordinary history textbook. Why? Because history textbooks are essentially propaganda. The texts are specifically written to teach us, the American People, the version of the story that they want you to learn. Forget about wether it’s true or not.
Because of this, I do read a lot of historical fiction and my favorites to read are YA because you can find a story about what really happened. The best written ones give you notes and a bibliography at the end. That’s how you know they did their research! Furthermore, if you look hard enough, you can find a story about the events, and not just yet another romance set during WWII. Forget the romance. I want the facts. I want to know what it was like to live back then. Those are the kinds of books we’ll feature here. And that is definitely what you get from Prisoner and Conspiracy.
Disclaimer: There is some violence in this book. Gretchen, herself, gets beat up.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Classification: Young Adult (YA).
Era: Pre-WWII (1930s)
Featured in The Reichstag Fire