LAST STOP KLINDENSPIEL by Marta Tandori
I received a free copy of this book in eBook form from the author in exchange for an honest review.
The story starts in 1945. Katya is six years old. Her mother is Norwegian and her father is a high ranking German SS officer. She has grown up never leaving the plush residential compound that housed German officers and their families.
Nothing in Katya’s six short years of life has prepared her for the drastic changes her life was about to undergo.
Allied troops overrun the “prison” camp that was run by her father and Katya, her sister and her mother are taken into custody.
What follows this is one injustice after another for the next ten years.
After losing most of the people she loves, and being scorned and threatened by the residents of the village where she lives, Katya’s grandmother sends her to Poland to become part of a circus. “…No animals or clowns, I’m told – it’s all made up of children performers.”
Traveling to Poland she discovers an envelope with her name on it. Inside is documentation regarding her birth. This information details the fact that she was part of Hitler’s Lebensborn Program. The purpose of this program was “to promote the growth of the Aryan population.” It was this information that answered many of Katya’s questions about her parentage and why people seemed to hate her even though they knew very little about her. “The war had ended, Hitler had been defeated, and those women unfortunate enough to be saddled with genetically half-German children were ostracized for spawning the enemy’s offspring.”
After arriving at Klindenspiel, Katya begins training to be part of the circus. Living in the manor house with comfortable beds, clean clothes and lots of food to eat, life seems to finally be looking up for Katya.
However, looks can be deceiving and the more Katya learns about her new home, the more she begins to fear for her future.
There are many secrets in Klindenspiel and Katya is determined to uncover them all. What she finds will both shock and amaze her. Katya must make a choice. Will she close her eyes to what she sees going on around her? Will she worry only about herself?
This book is the very definition of a “page-turner”. I did not want to stop reading.
The mixture of history, drama and intrigue is simply perfection.
Marta Tandori writes with eloquence and poise. Her descriptions of places and events are so vivid that they are easy to picture in your mind. She is able to convey emotion with perfect phrasing. For instance; you can feel the love that Katya’s grandmother feels for her when the author writes: “Borghild smiled, tucking a stray strand of hair behind Katya’s ear. ‘Wild horses couldn’t keep me away’.” Her attention to detail also adds to the story. Readers cannot help but become absorbed by her descriptive writing.
This was the first Marta Tandori book I have read, but it will definitely not be the last. I am now a definite fan!
To find out more about the author, visit her online at http://martatandori.com
This story is fictional, but Hitler’s Lebensborn Program was very real. When we hear stories about the Nazis during World War Two, they mostly focus on the concentration camps and on the horrific medical experiments that were conducted on the Jewish people. Very little is heard about Hitler’s attempt to create a Master Race. In fact, I consider myself very well read and well educated, but until reading this book I had not heard of Hitler’s Lebensborn Program. I decided to look for more information and was shocked by what I found. This fact proves that reading fiction can be just as educational and enlightening as reading nonfiction. To read more about this topic, visit http://www.findingdulcinea.com/news/Europe/2009/jan/Nazi-Victims-as-Children-Lebensborn-Adults-Piece-Together-Their-Pasts.html