Children and Fire

Children and Fire

Audiobook CD - 2011
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Tells the story of what results when a gifted teacher in Burgdorf, Germany becomes seduced by Hitler's propaganda and encourages her ten-year-old students to join the "Hitler-Jugend.".
Publisher: [Old Saybrook, CT] : Tantor Media, p2011.
ISBN: 9781452602301
1452602301
Branch Call Number: CD FIC/HEGI
Characteristics: 7 sound discs (8 hrs.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.

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m
maipenrai
Jul 25, 2014

**** STARS This is the fourth book in the Burgdorf cycle, all set in Burgdorf, Germany during the Nazi era. The first book , "Stones from the River" was written 15 years ago. "Children and Fire" tells the story of a single day that will forever transform the lives of the townspeople. At the core of this remarkable novel is the question of how one teacher, gifted and joyful, passionate and inventive, can become seduced by propaganda during the early months of Hitler's regime and encourage her ten-year-old students to join the Hitler-Jugend. Membership, she believes, will be a step toward better schools. How can a woman we admire choose a direction we we know to be so wrong? So much has changed for the teacher, Thekla Jansen, and the people of Burgdorf in the year since the parliament building burned. Thekla's lover, Emil Hesping, is sure the Nazis did it to frame the communists. But Thekla believes what she hears on the radio, that the communists set the fire, and she is willing to relinquish some of her freedoms to keep her teaching position. She has always taken her moral courage for granted, but when each silent agreement chips away at that courage, she knows she must reclaim it. Hegi funnels pivotal moments in history through the experiences of individual characters: Thekla's mother, who works as a housekeeper for a Jewish family; her employers, Michel and Ilse Abramowitz; Thekla's mentally ill father; Trudi Montag and her father, Leo Montag; Frulein Siderova, and the students who adore their young teacher. As Ursula Hegi shows us how one society, educated and cultural, can slip into a reality that is fabricated by propaganda and controlled by fear, how a surge of national unity can be manipulated into the dehumanization of a perceived enemy and the justification of torture and murder. ***** Ms. Hegi writes beautifully!! That is difficult to say when her Bergdorf Cycle deals with the inhumanity of the Nazis. She is able within the horror to create complex, believable, loving and lovable human beings who are attempting to cope the best they can with a world going mad. She does not beat the reader with atrocity after atrocity, but instead breaks your heart by the death of one little boy who simply wants to be accepted. As with all series, begin with the first - "Stones from the River" - which makes my 25 all time best books ever list!! I strongly recommend this series!!!

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