3 thoughts on “Trying to understand is not the same as condoning or forgiving

  1. Hi Angela,
    I’m looking forward to reading your book…
    I signed up for your blog after a web search for memoirs on WWII for a comp book. I recently completed a memoir about my German family after my 76-year old aunt confessed out of the blue in 2013 that she was conceived under the Lebensborn plan and wanted her story to be told. A major family secret, and one that broke my heart. My beloved grandmother raised me after my mother refused marriage and took off, leaving me behind in a small German town. I spent four years researching what life was like for my family during Hitler’s reign to understand how this could happen to good simple farmer folk. Turns out my three youngest aunts were conceived the same way. Her confession also prompted me to find my own biological father whom I had never known. He had been a soldier as a teen, fought in Normandy, was captured and became a Kriegshilfe in Belgium before being released in 1947. Our reunion was powerful and wonderful–we connected immediately. Between my existing German family and my father, I was able to understand the profound impact of Hitler’s propaganda machine, the lies, and the fear induced in the average German citizen. Yes, we can never forget the profound evil that was the Holocaust and the impact that reverberated through families for generations.

    • Hi Maddie – apologies, if I have wrongly assumed that is your name. Thank you so much for writing and telling a little of your fascinating and moving story. That must have been such a disturbing revelation and I can imagine the secrecy around it an equally disruptive albeit invisible undercurrent in your family’s life. I hope writing the memoir was a cathartic and healing experience for you all. And I am sure it will help others in a similar position find the courage to maybe uncover their own family secrets and embark on the process of healing. Thank you again for your very relevant comment. Angela

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