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  • Location: Frankfurt

The German House

The German House

Why a Booktrail?

1963: Frankfurt and the Frankfurt Trials

  • Translator: Elisabeth Lauffer
  • Genre: Fiction, Historical, Translated Fictioin

What you need to know before your trail

At the war’s end, Frankfurt was a smoldering ruin, severely damaged by the Allied bombings. But that was two decades ago. Now it is 1963, and the city’s streets, once cratered are smooth and paved. Shiny new stores replace scorched rubble. For twenty-four-year-old Eva Bruhn, World War II is a foggy childhood memory. Eager for her wealthy suitor, Jürgen Schoorman, to propose, Eva dreams of starting a new life away from her parents and sister. But Eva’s plans are turned upside down when an American investigator, David Miller, hires her as a translator for a war crimes trial.

As she becomes more and more involved in the Frankfurt Trials, Eva begins to question her family’s silence on the war and her future. Why do her parents refuse to talk about what happened? What are they hiding? Does she really love Jürgen and will she be happy as a housewife? Though it means going against the wishes of her family and her lover, Eva, propelled by her own conscience, joins a team of fiery prosecutors determined to bring the Nazis to justice—a decision that will help change her country forever.

Travel Guide

Frankfurt and the Frankfurt war trials

This is set against the background of the Frankfurt trials which took place almost 20 years after Nuremburg. It looks at the terrors and heartbreak of war and of the Auschwitz camps. Looking back and wanting answers and justice for what has gone on in past generations is necessary for future ones to move forward. Working as a translator for such trials must have been heartbreaking and it’s fascinating to see a snapshot of this time.

This story looks at the experiences of the first postwar generation of Germans who were mere children during the war. Eva begins to question her family’s role in the events of WW2 and her memories begin to return as the full picture now comes into play.

Frankfurt as a city is evoked well but this is a very Frankfurt of today of course. The atmosphere of war, of Auschwitz and human suffering lingers over the entire narrative as a compelling backdrop.

Booktrail Boarding Pass: The German House

Destination: Frankfurt  Author/Guide: Annette Hess  Departure Time: 1963

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