Share and Share Alike. We like Shares!


The Love That I Have

Margot Baumann is sent to work in Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. In the mail room. One of her main jobs is to collect letters being sent out by the inmates and destroying them.

But it doesn’t take long for Margot, who’s one brother is suffering in a Soviet camp, knows full-well the horror that families back home feel as they await news of their missing loved ones. This aching feeling prompts her to return a favor she hopes some girl near Stalingrad will do for her – allow some of the letters to be posted along so that she can learn the fate of her beloved Walther.

As she starts going through the smuggled letters, she finds one addressed to a Margot Lipsky. The coincidence of the shared name is just too much for Margot. Not only that, but the letter is by far the most beautiful thing she has ever read. She cannot stop herself from posing as Margot Lipsky and writing back.

But, of course, by writing back to this Dieter Kleinschmidt, she has bitten off more than she can chew, so to speak. Because suddenly, just writing to Dieter isn’t enough. Margot needs to keep Dieter alive – if not for the Margot she thinks she loves, but for herself. And then Dieter drops his own bombshell, he has known all along that the Margot responding to his letters is not his Margot. Now that Dieter and Margot both know the truth about the letters, Margot feels all the more determined to keep Dieter alive, no matter what it will cost her.

Then as the war draws to a close and the prisoners of Sachsenhausen are marched away from camp as the Allied approach grows nearer and nearer, the tables have suddenly turned. Sachsenhausen is still a death camp; one run by the Soviets and not the Germans. Now, Dieter must find a way to keep Margot alive.

The Love That I Have tells that horrors of the camp, but it also shows that even in the worst of circumstances, the best of humanity can still shine through. A German girl, despite her previous belief in Nazi propaganda, learns to see through it. She learns to love despite the divisions the Germans and Soviets have placed in society. Yet Margot pays an unspeakable price for her crime of working in the camp, meaning that not only must she learn to love others, but she must learn to forgive and love herself.

The Love That I Have is definitely one of the best Holocaust novels I’ve read. It tells of Sachsenhausen under German command and Soviet command. It tugs at the heartstrings while showing that love can present itself even in Nazi Germany.

Just a fair warning, The Love That I Have is an Australian novel, and not easily obtained in America. I found my copy on ebay.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Classification: YA


Featured in Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

Goodreads: The Love That I Have

Share and Share Alike. We like Shares!
Share and Share Alike. We like Shares!

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

Goodreads: Prisoner of Night and Fog and Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke

Share and Share Alike. We like Shares!