The major rediscovery of a forgotten masterpiece, The Broken House is a coming-of-age story that provides an unforgettable portrait of life under the Nazis.
Originally published in Germany in 1966 but out of print for decades, this moving and tragic memoir is now available for the first time to UK readers. To mark this moment we are giving away 25 copies of The Broken House, to be claimed by reading groups or individuals who would like to read it.
‘Exquisitely written… haunting… Few books, I think, capture so well the sense of a life broken for ever by trauma and guilt’
In 1965, journalist Horst Krüger attended the Auschwitz trial in Frankfurt, where 22 former camp guards were put on trial for the systematic murder of over 1 million men, women and children.
The trial sent Krüger back to his childhood in the 1930s, in an attempt to understand ‘how it really was, that incomprehensible time’. He had grown up in a Berlin suburb, among a community of decent, lower-middle-class homeowners. This was not the world of torch-lit processions and endless ranks of marching SA men. Here, people lived ordinary, non-political lives, believed in God and obeyed the law, but were gradually seduced and intoxicated by the promises of Nazism. He had been, Krüger realised, ‘the typical child of innocuous Germans who were never Nazis, and without whom the Nazis would never have been able to do their work’.
‘An unsparing, honest and insightful memoir, that shows how private failure becomes national disaster’