by Nanette S.
: With an historian’s eye for detail and accuracy, Jennifer Coburn shines a light on a lesser known despicable program established in 1935 by Nazi socialists to further the 3rd Reich’s goal of a pure Aryan race. The goal of the program Lebensborn, founded by Heinrich Himmler in 1935, was to advance the growth of the Aryan race by selecting “perfect” young women to mate with “elite SS officers” to bear “perfect” Aryan babies that the state could distribute to good German families. By time of this novel, 1938-39, the Reich had resorted to kidnapping babies from occupied territory and even murdering parents to seize their babies. By the end of the war there were estimates that some 200,000 babies passed through Lebensborn facilities similar to Coburn’s Heim Hochland.
The author weaves her tale through three women: Gundi and Hilde are young and pregnant while Irma is a nurse employed by the facility. The reader shares the emotional inner thoughts of the women as they try to find their place in the program and in the 3rd Reich. The three face different but terrifying choices as they grapple with their decisions and subsequent consequences.
In her “Author Notes”, Jennifer Coburn writes, “I love reading historical fiction because it allows me to learn about history through the more personal lens of personal relationships.” This book fits her expressed thought.