Book summary: Tearing the Silence: On Being German in America


Brilliantly interviewed by bestselling novelist Ursula Hegi, German Americans born in Germany during and immediately following World War II speak out about the legacy of grief and shame that continues to haunt them.Like Studs Terkel in his classic Working, Hegi uses the art of the interview to delve into the personal histories of these women and men as they confront -- some for the first time -- the terrible and pervasive silence that made any mention of the Holocaust taboo in their homes and schools while they were growing up. They share their pain, anger, and compassion as they take us into the world of their parents and try to sort out the impact of the war on their own lives.

Echoing many of the themes Hegi explored in Stones from the River, this powerful and provocative oral history is the first book to capture the long-silent voices of post-war German Americans stifled by the legacy of their homeland.

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