Ever since I read Anna Funder’s All That I Am last year, I’ve been a little bit obsessed with Germany. I followed All That I Am with Funder’s nonfiction work Stasiland, and then because I was still wrapped up with Hans and Dora and Toller I tracked down Toller’s memoir I Was A German.
I Was A German may or may not have blown my mind. I never got into The Diary of Anne Frank (it reminded my teenaged self a little too much of the Babysitter’s Little Sister books I devoured as a kid), so I Was A German popped a lot of my book cherries.
First nonfiction book about the Second World War. First memoir that I actually liked. First time I empathised with a character who was actually a real person.
This week I’m reading Elie Wiesel’s Night, tagged “His record of childhood in the death camps of Auschwitz and Buhenwald”. Night won a Nobel Peace Prize and was required reading in high schools for a long time.
That’s about all I know about it, which seems a bit short-sighted (I love reading about books almost as much as I love reading them), but I’m looking forward to reading it.
Fifty pages in and I already want to throw it against the wall. I am heartache and shame.