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Let Me Go | [Helga Schneider]

Let Me Go

Helga Schneider was four when her mother suddenly abandoned her family in Berlin in 1941. When she next saw her mother, 30 years later, she learned the shocking reason why. Her mother had joined the Nazi SS and had become a guard in the concentration camps, including Auschwitz, where she was in charge of a "correction" unit and responsible for untold acts of torture.
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Publisher's Summary

Helga Schneider was four when her mother suddenly abandoned her family in Berlin in 1941. When she next saw her mother, 30 years later, she learned the shocking reason why. Her mother had joined the Nazi SS and had become a guard in the concentration camps, including Auschwitz, where she was in charge of a "correction" unit and responsible for untold acts of torture.

Nearly 30 more years would pass before their second and final reunion, an emotional encounter in Vienna, where her ailing mother, then 87 and unrepentant about her past, was living in a nursing home. Let Me Go is the extraordinary account of that meeting and of their conversation, which powerfully evokes the misery of obligation colliding with inescapable horror.

©2004 Helga Schneider; (P)2004 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Rosenblat's narration captures the boastful, pitiable, and unrepentant mother in a matter-of-fact style that is both chilling and disturbing." (Booklist)
"The story will bring tears to most listeners' eyes....Barbara Rosenblat's reading is astounding....the listener is chilled by the evil in her voice, and when she reads Schneider's words, the listener feels the anger and confusion that permeate the book." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (54 )
5 star
 (21)
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3 star
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2 star
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4.0 (26 )
5 star
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Story
4.0 (26 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Vikki WICHITA, KS, United States 06-23-07
    Vikki WICHITA, KS, United States 06-23-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    125
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    157
    32
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    3
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    Overall
    "Excellent..."

    This is a chilling story... mostly because it is true. This would be a very difficult thing to live with. A story of forgiveness. If only we could all be so forgiving. I highly recommend.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yennta L.A., CA 12-30-08
    Yennta L.A., CA 12-30-08 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    189
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    127
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    11
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    Overall
    "Stunning, Annoying, Haunting"


    I found this book because I was looking for books narrated by the great Barbara Rosenblatt. She's a national treasure.

    This is one of the most profound books I've ever encountered. The balance of hatred and love. The longing for love. The unremitting digging by Helga at a mother who is both helpless and sadistic. As Helga is, too. I said "irritating," because I got really annoyed at the "why didn't you love me, mother?" repeated over and over in different ways. I wanted to say, "Oh, get a life." There was a certain amount of melodrama I got tired of. But the honesty was stunning and the ambiguity totally captivating. The descriptions of the people and places are marvelous.

    Helga provides endless details and digs for more. Her obsessive research is one of the best things about this book. The factual info, in this context, is somehow even more horrible.

    This is a picture, closeup, of a woman whose life lacked meaning (the mother) until she found a belief and a home in the SS and somebody to hate -- the Jews. It gives new meaning to the idea of a woman's leaving home to "find herself." She found herself quite contentedly in hell. And her daughter deals with it all both intellectually and emotionally with amazing insight.

    Wow. This book is going to haunt me for a long time.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Klein Rocketville, Maryland - USA 03-09-13
    R. Klein Rocketville, Maryland - USA 03-09-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    11
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    "Can't beat Rosenblat!"

    I found myself pulled into this book from the start. Barbara Rosenblat is a first class actress when it comes to reading. I think she has an amazing facility with nuance and emotion. The story is engaging, and all through the story, I felt that I was watching a play unfold on stage.

    The story itself is interesting, giving a somewhat different view of the holocaust period. The story weaves personal tragedy with tragedy on a tremendous scale, and manages to hold its own. There are so many delicate touches and details in the story that it's easy to conjure the scene in the mind's eye, as if watching it on stage in front of you.

    Highly recommended book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn Milwaukie, OR, United States 05-08-11
    Carolyn Milwaukie, OR, United States 05-08-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    172
    6
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    0
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    "Excellent narrator but uninteresting characters"

    This is a true story about a woman who has only seen her mother twice since the woman was a little girl. The mother is an unpleasant character. The second visit is what the book focuses on. By the time of the second visit, the mother is not only unpleasant but seems to be suffering from senile dementia. I quickly lost interest in the mother. There did not seem to be any reason for the daughter to be visiting her. I lost interest in the story and starting skipping ahead. The narrator was excellent however.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bev Alton, IL, USA 12-09-08
    Bev Alton, IL, USA 12-09-08 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    169
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    279
    105
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    8
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    Overall
    "Great Story"

    The Narrator of this story is great, as is the story itself. I couldn't imagine being left behind by a Mother who went onto evil, and left me with a person who didn't love me. Looking for closure, in a life with a gapping hole. Sad, but good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lindy Wyar 07-08-14
    Lindy Wyar 07-08-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    2
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    "Fascinating!"
    Where does Let Me Go rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The quality and read of this book was wonderful! I literally felt like I was in the room with the mother and daughter- listening to a conversation. Totally un-like any other book Ive read


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    YES!


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommended. Worth the money paid.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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