A German Reckons with History and Home

paperback, 288 pages

Published Sept. 17, 2019 by Scribner.

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5 stars (2 reviews)

"A revelatory, visually stunning graphic memoir by award-winning artist Nora Krug, telling the story of her attempt to confront the hidden truths of her family's wartime past in Nazi Germany and to comprehend the forces that have shaped her life, her generation, and history"--

3 editions


4 stars

Krug explores what her German ancestors did before, during, and after World War II. She discusses what she learned as a child growing up, what people did and did not talk about, and the questions she wanted answered as an adult. There is plenty of drawing here, but Krug also uses collage: a mixture of documents, photographs, and her own drawings. She's a good storyteller as she follows the trail of evidence where it leads, and is open and honest about her own discomfort. The book struck me as an effective investigation of the relationship between one's own personal life to larger, terrifying historical forces. The graphic medium was a great way to render this story, allowing Krug to mix contemporary documents with the reactions she imagines (or knew) about her ancestors.

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5 stars