Eva Bruhns doesn’t really remember WWII as it ended when she was a small child and no one in her family likes to discuss what happened in great detail. Her father served in the war, but now and her mom run a successful restaurant. Eva works as a translator and is hired to translate for the 1963 Frankfurt Auschwitz trials, which are war crime trials in which former Nazi officers are being tried for their crimes. As Eva becomes more involved in the trials, she begins to question her family’s silence about the war and her father’s service. She also tries to come to terms with what she learns at the trials and what she has learned/ heard in the past.
Though the German House is a work of fiction, it is based on real events and the real trial of Nazi officers. Annette Hess does a wonderful job of capturing the mood during this time and bringing in different perspectives. For anyone looking for a good historical fiction, I recommend this book. It also counts towards the Fall reading challenge (West or East Europe categories)