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Those Who Save Us | [Jenna Blum]

Those Who Save Us

Trudy, a college history professor, is collecting oral histories from World War II survivors (both German and Jewish). Her mother, Anna, refuses to talk to her, but Anna's story is revealed in flashback. She conducted an affair with a Jewish baker who was summarily killed. Afterward, Anna caught the eye of a high-ranking Nazi officer.
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Publisher's Summary

Trudy, a college history professor, is collecting oral histories from World War II survivors (both German and Jewish). Her mother, Anna, refuses to talk to her, but Anna's story is revealed in flashback. She conducted an affair with a Jewish baker who was summarily killed. Afterward, Anna caught the eye of a high-ranking Nazi officer. She was coerced into an abusive affair with him, which she went along with in order to ensure her survival - and that of her baby.

©2005 Jenna Blum; (P)2007 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"Blum's spare imagery is nightmarish and intimate, imbuing familiar panoramas of Nazi atrocity with stark new power. This is a poised, hair-raising debut." (Publishers Weekly)
"An absorbing tale of two women's struggles with the burdens and responsibilities of remembrance." (The Boston Globe)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (204 )
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4.3 (120 )
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Story
4.5 (121 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Taryn Suffern, NY, United States 01-26-11
    Taryn Suffern, NY, United States 01-26-11 Member Since 2005

    Addicted to Audible!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    969
    ratings
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    317
    157
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    Overall
    "engaging"

    I was hooked on this book from the beginning. It delt with two major topics, that of survivors guilt and of judging others. It was interesting to see this horrible time in history tackled in a different way. The character development was excellent and the story kept me anxiously waiting to see when and if Anna would finally tell Trudie about her past. I highly recommend it!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DIANE Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada 09-07-10
    DIANE Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada 09-07-10 Member Since 2009

    I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
    Overall
    "Well done"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful story. The characters were very well developed and the readings by Francisco Rivela were excellent- great accents and just a great story. A disturbing but enlightening insight into the role of German women during Nazi Germany. Would highly recommend this book.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Starlet San Carlos, CA, United States 06-11-10
    Starlet San Carlos, CA, United States 06-11-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another Perspective"

    I enjoyed this book because it offered yet another perspective which is becoming much more prevalent in these types of stories and, thus, more interesting. I read quite a bit in this genre of WWII, Holocaust, Germany and the viewpoint of a German woman's past life and daughter's current life is unique. It is not easy to read the flash back forward, but I think this author pulled it off without causing too much confusion. However, I really did like the memoir and it is a great book about WWII from the German side in portraying that not all Germans were despicable during the war. One likes to think that is true, and this story was yet another way of letting that be known as a possibility

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Greble usa 09-23-12
    D. Greble usa 09-23-12 Member Since 2008
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    "A book on tape that will keep you awake in the car"
    Where does Those Who Save Us rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the few books whose narrator has kept me awake while driving hours and hours late at night. Usually I start dozing and switch to music, but I couldn't stop listening to this book, and was sad was it had ended.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simone St Laurent, Quebec, Canada 06-24-12
    Simone St Laurent, Quebec, Canada 06-24-12 Member Since 2006

    Join me on GoodReads too!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    327
    ratings
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    408
    274
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    Story
    "Heavy! Very good read"

    GAH! This is getting heavy! About half way through and I think some of this will linger...

    __________________________

    Done and loved it! great story!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    NatesNana Auckland, New Zealand 01-07-13
    NatesNana Auckland, New Zealand 01-07-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Brilliant insight into German minds and hearts"

    Sensitively written. Excellent development of characters... they came alive and touched my heart. I gained a deeper understanding of what the German people experienced in and after the war. Highly recommended.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula Daughton Bluffton, SC, US 09-26-12
    Paula Daughton Bluffton, SC, US 09-26-12 Member Since 2006
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    "Excellent!"
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    The well written history was remarkable in its detail of this family.


    How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

    Continued to learn what happened during the war.


    What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

    Nothing


    Do you have any additional comments?

    Highly recommend

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cristin Amarillo, TX, United States 08-21-12
    cristin Amarillo, TX, United States 08-21-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Heavy, Hellish, and Unforgettable"

    I have read quite a few nonfiction Holocaust/Nazi Germany books and am usually leery of fictitious books concerning the Holocaust. However, this book was rather 'enjoyable'. It is, of course, a very heavy book and not a "fun" read, but it is enjoyable! It not only felt real (I constantly had to remind myself not to discuss what went on in this book so that I would not get it confused with reality), but it had me on the edge of my seat.

    Typically Holocaust stories are about the Holocaust victims and most people shy away from the topic of what the Germans went through (guilty/not guilty/etc...). I thought that the author was able to bring about this topic beautifully and even mentioned several books that "Trudy" is reading and that I myself have read ("Hitler's Willing Executioners", etc...) and that are wonderful resources for anyone to read that wants to know more about Nazi Germany and the Holocaust.

    I highly recommend this book!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine Huntington Beach, CA, United States 02-08-12
    Catherine Huntington Beach, CA, United States 02-08-12
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    "A sad but sympathetic story"
    What made the experience of listening to Those Who Save Us the most enjoyable?

    It was an easy listen. It is a great story with much education about the holocaust. The story really puts you back in that time frame and you are able to feel and sympathize with what how Germans felt during the war....do you just put your head down and ignore what is going on or do you risk your own life and help your Jewish neighbors?


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Those Who Save Us?

    When Anna came home to find the


    What does Suzanne Toren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    There is a lot of German spoken in the book. It was nice to have the correct pronunciation and enunciation so that it flowed well with the story.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    More than anything I felt frustration and sadness for the characters. Frustration for Anna during the war and her time with


    Any additional comments?

    I wish the story would have ended with a little more explaination. Did Trudy find out everything from Anna?

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daryl Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 11-24-12
    Daryl Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 11-24-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Moving and complex"
    Would you listen to Those Who Save Us again? Why?

    Probably. It was a diffficult read, and the story of the past was much more engrossing than the story of the present, but it was a challenging read. Brutality was depicted in all of its graphic formss


    What did you like best about this story?

    The complex relationships between mothers and children, and the idea that those who save us do not always do it for us, but for themselves


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me cry in spots and angry in others. It is incomprehensible to me to think that anti-Semitism still exists.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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