The book My Father’s Country by Wibke Bruhns is a historical novel about difficult times. The author’s story is filled with details and facts that reflect her attitude and the feelings of her family members facing many problems due to the politics of their country. Wibke Bruhns, in her book, successfully conveyed the atmosphere of some critical eras in the history of Germany and the world, and also explained the reason why families felt sympathy for the NS movement.
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The essential part of Bruhns’s story is a description of her father’s childhood and the period of his growing up. The events of his life allow readers to feel the difference between “zeitgeist” in Imperial Germany and the Weimar Republic. One can conclude from the story that Imperial Germany at the end of the eighteenth century had many economic and social problems, and the results of the First World War completely deprived the Germans of faith in their government. The Weimar Republic also did not improve the situation much, although it promoted equality and democracy. According to Jardine, Bruins understands why her parents joined the Nazi party after the shame of the Versailles Treaty. They decided that the new leaders would restore national pride. In addition, Hitler had exceptional charisma and the ability to convince people. Bruhns notes this fact in his father’s words, “Outside, the world is being blown apart, but ‘everything is drowned out by the Führer’s voice, which all the men listen to devotedly and with intense concentration’” (p. 16). Thus, a sense of hurt national pride and skillful propaganda pushed the Germans to follow the Nazi ideology.
In conclusion, My Father’s Country by Wibke Bruhns is a revelation of one family that conveys the mood of an entire era of one nation. The reader can see that the promise of the Nazi party to return Germany to its former glory and power, pushed its citizens to join their ranks. In addition, the magnetism, persuasive skills, and authority of the young leader made citizens believe and worship him.
- Bruhns, Wibke. My Fathers Country: The Story of a German Family. Translated by Shaun Whiteside, Alfred A. Knopf, 2008.
- Jardine, Cassandra. “’Mostly They Felt the Greatness of Germany Was at Stake’.” The Telegraph, 2009. Web.