Friday, December 4, 2015

Children to a Degree - Growing Up Under the Third Reich

Book: Children to a Degree - Growing Up Under the Third Reich
Author: Horst Christian

Based on a true story about a young boy growing up under the Third Reich.

Karl Veth, the oldest of three children, was born in Berlin, Germany in 1930. By the time he was old enough to start school and begin his education, Hitler had already established a firm death-grip on the country. Children were fed a steady diet of Nazi propaganda and were often encouraged to turn on their family and friends but contrary to popular belief, not all of them bought into it.

Karl is an intelligent young boy who strives to excel in his studies, but he questions everything. Dangerous questions during a time when people are closely monitored. Karl’s father and grandfather are not blind followers and they have their own opinions about Hitler and his regime. The lessons they teach Karl often contradict what he is taught in school, yet they also inspire him to think on his own and form his own opinions.

German law mandates that all children must become members of the Hitler Youth and at the age of 10, Karl enters the Jungvolk, the junior branch of the Hitler Youth. He must wade through the propaganda and everything he is taught to decide for himself what is right and what it wrong. Little does he know at the time, but many of his grandfather’s predictions about the future of the Third Reich will eventually come to pass. The lessons he learns now and the opinions he forms will determine his fate in dangerous times ahead. -Goodreads

Review: This was a very interesting story about a boy growing up in Nazi Germany. It provides good insight into the indoctrination methods used at the time and how families were impacted. I was afraid for Karl's grandfather throughout the book (he was not a Nazi supporter) and while the writing stuff wasn't that great (it was written like an old grandpa telling you a story) I overall liked this. 

Grade: 3/5

No comments: