One of the many things that I didn’t like about my education was the fact that even though I took a lot of history classes, we never really covered World War II. Every year in those history classes we talk forever about World War I, but we would briefly go over WWII before going on to the Vietnam War. So, I was pretty much on my own when it came to finding out facts about the war.
Prisoner of Night and Fog is mostly a work of fiction. The main character – Gretchen Müller – and her family are fictional but most of the other characters actually existed. Gretchen is a teenaged girl whose father was a close friend of Adolf Hitler’s. So close, in fact, that he sacrificed his body to protect him a few years previously. Because of his sacrifice Hitler has always held the Müller family in high esteem. However, it isn’t until one night when her brother Reinhard goes after a Jew on the street that Gretchen starts to question what her ‘Uncle Dolf’ has been telling her about the Jews, and she meets a mysterious young man who calls her different than the others.
This mysterious man is Daniel Cohen a reporter for the Munich Post and who has been investigating Hitler and his closest allies. He seems to know the truth about what actually happened to Gretchen’s father that night, and it isn’t what she’s been told. Someone in the National Socialist party killed Gretchen’s father not by the state police bullets like everyone thought. The question is, who did it and why? Gretchen is hell bent on finding out even if that means alienating her family and her Uncle Dolf.
This is another book that was so disgusting (in parts) but it was written so well you barely even notice it. You get an inner look at the world of Adolf Hitler and his ‘niece’ as she tries to undo the brainwash that he has done on her over the years. Gretchen’s brother was a piece of work and I am not ashamed to say that I cheered when he died at the end of the book. When you find out that Eva – Gretchen’s best friend – has been ‘dating’ Hitler for the last two years, I really felt like being sick, and that was after he tried making the moves on Gretchen. Ick. I like the way that this book set up for a potential sequel, but even if Blankman doesn’t write it, it kind of had a clean ending.
Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. I’m usually really wary of WWII books, sometimes they are so haunting that I have nightmares, but this one was just the perfect blend of seriousness and romance.
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