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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
I Am Germany is a historical novel by Michael Witt. Henry Schultz is an old man grieving the loss of his wife. In a bid to find closure, he travels to Germany just before the fall of the Berlin Wall, where he meets his first love, Anna Himmel. Anna has been carrying the baggage of her past for her entire life. Meeting Henry takes her back to her memories of the late 1930s when she was a young woman who despised everything to do with the Reich and Nazi ideology. Anna recalls how her father and brother lost themselves to an abhorrent cause and pours her heart out about her vain attempts to stop a young girl from being euthanized by the vile regime. At last, she may find her peace.
I Am Germany is a moving tale about trauma, guilt, and regret that demonstrates the impact of fascist ideology on innocent victims. Michael Witt showcases the somewhat lesser-known yet no less terrible horrors of the Nazi regime through a deeply personal and intimate tale that is bound to tug at your heartstrings. The narrative is unflinchingly vivid, following realistic characters trying to navigate their way through life during a time and environment for which they were ill-prepared. Henry and Anna each have their share of regrets and trauma that they can only unload after decades of hiding behind their outward personas. This is a story that any reader who loves historical fiction will appreciate. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I highly recommend it.