Jesper Bugge Kold K.E. Semmel
- Title: Winter Men
- Author: Jesper Bugge Kold K.E. Semmel
- ISBN: null
- Page: 385
- Format: Kindle Edition
As the dark specter of the Nazis settles over Germany, two wealthy and educated brothers are suddenly thrust into the rising tide of war Karl, a former soldier and successful businessman, dutifully answers the call to defend his country, while contemplative academic Gerhard is coerced into informing for the Gestapo Soon the brothers are serving in the SS, and as Hitler sAs the dark specter of the Nazis settles over Germany, two wealthy and educated brothers are suddenly thrust into the rising tide of war Karl, a former soldier and successful businessman, dutifully answers the call to defend his country, while contemplative academic Gerhard is coerced into informing for the Gestapo Soon the brothers are serving in the SS, and as Hitler s hateful agenda brings about unspeakable atrocities, they find themselves with innocent blood on their hands.Following Germany s eventual defeat, Karl and Gerhard are haunted by their insurmountable guilt, and each seeks a way to escape from wounds that will never heal They survived the war and its revelation of systematic horrors, but can they survive the unshakable knowledge of their own culpability
Recent Comments "Winter Men"
"Everyone seemed to just accept what was happening."Teaching at the University of Hamburg in 1938 has become frustrating for Gerhard Strangl."Two thirds of the students are gone, either because they're Jews or because they've joined the army. All discussion between students and professors has become completely meaningless, since no one dares to state their opinion anymore. People hardly dare describe what they have in their lunch box."His brother Karl owns a prosperous clothing factory that make [...]
I rated the book several days ago but waited to review it until I'd put some distance between myself and the material. I will often have an initial gut reaction that doesn't match with my attempt at an objective review, and given the topic, I wanted to wait. I waited. I still think it's three stars. This book should be looked at two ways: substance and form. As for substance: we are reading primarily about two brothers, adults in their forties, who lived (one fought, one didn't) through WWI and [...]
Brothers Karl and Gerhard are respectable Germans living in Hamburg as change sweeps through Germany before the start of WW2. The Nazi propaganda machine, headed by Adolf Hitler, is at lts most effective and is spiralling Germany towards violence and war once more. We follow the brothers as they are torn by their own hearts, conscience and beliefs while finding themselves on the wrong side of history.Winter Men is a superb novel highlighting the moral dilemmas of everyday Germans caught up event [...]
Chilling and InstructiveDoes the world need yet another work of historical fiction set during WWII and told from a German point of view? As it turns out, Winter Men proves that it does. I didn't really appreciate what Hanna Arendt truly meant by the phrase "banality of evil" until I read this book. Winter Men serves as a powerful reminder that for every ideological fanatic shouting 'Heil!' and burning books, there were hundreds, maybe thousands, of respectable middle and upper-middle class busin [...]
"Work for us or die?"What would you do if you had to respond to a statement like that? Even if you know you're working for an organization you hate and believe to be evil would you do it in the name of self-preservation or literally bite the bullet?This is one of the questions raised in "Winter Men." Two brothers with of opposite personalities who both embark on a long journey into their own versions of hell on Earth. Both brothers through different means end up working for the SS and yes, it's [...]
My rating is actually more of a 3.5. At times the story was amazing, and kept my attention, but there were other parts that really dragged.
Fiction about the lives of Germans in Nazi Germany normally falls into one of three categories: the Jewish experience; Germans implicitly or explicitly opposed to the regime (see Philip Kerr, Luke McCallin, Ben Pastor); or portraits of monsters (David Thomas's Ostland).The Winter Men is closest to the third of these classes, taking us through the war experiences of two German brothers, both of whom are portrayed as reasonable men, and both of whom end up in the SS. The path each takes to end in [...]
A solid and worthwhile (if, alas, unspectacular and not necessarily memorable) Kindle First selection, once again introducing to English reading audiences a talented author originally published abroad.World War II isn't the most uplifting material, and the holocaust (and genocide, generally) is heavy stuff, but both continue to provide a rich source of content spun from any number of new and novel perspectives. Ultimately, I found Kold's work fundamentally depressing, but sufficiently realistic, [...]
I'd probably give this book 3.5 stars if it were possible. I really enjoyed seeing what happened in Germany during Hitler's regime through the eyes of Germans and members of the Gestapo/SS. The two brothers in this story were dragged into it reluctantly and were not fully supportive of the things they ended up doing, but often felt trapped. So much harm was done, even to those who were a part of Hitler's army, and it's so tragic all around as oppression doesn't just do harm to the oppressed, but [...]
Powerful novel of moral dilemma in World War 2Two brothers, neither of whom are true supporters of the Nazi’s end up in the SS through coercion. Through promotion they both slip into a path that leads to them taking part in atrocities.The book is thought provoking and raises questions within the reader as to how you would have dealt with the dilemmas presented. The gradual slip into evil deeds is excruciating and sad as in other circumstances these are reasonable people. It’s like watching a [...]
Very good but extremely dark story about two brothers, Germans, compelled to join the SS in WW2. (Fiction). Not one for the easily depressed!
Review to follow
First, I would like to sincerely thank my friend, Ryan Moore, for suggesting that I read this novel. Since I was 10, I have been fascinated by many of the events that occurred in and shaped American history. At the age of 10, I was blessed to have an amazing 5th grade history teacher who enthralled me with daily lectures about the events that formed this country into what it was at that point in time. And While I was sickened by the fact that this country and its citizens had been ravaged by sev [...]
This is one of my must-reads. A book that makes me think, a book that still has me thinking and haunts me a day after I've finished it, one I'd just like everybody around me to read so I can talk to them about it deserves nothing less than a full five stars.The story centers around two brothers during the Nazi regime in Germany. They are "good" men, with an intense dislike of the Nazis and their politics - they abhor the way the Jews are being treated, disagree with almost everything the Nazis s [...]
Tahle kniha se mě opravdu hluboce dotkla. Autor vybudoval příběh s naprostou precizností - hraje si se čtenářem - na jedné stránce ho dojme, aby ho hned na druhé naprosto znechutil. Postavy jsou neskutečně živoucí a troufám si tvrdit, že i s Vámi ta kniha pohne. Vedle Hany a Opuštěné společnosti ji řadím mezi trojlístek toho nejlepšího, co jsem letos přečetla. Opravdu si ji nenechte utéct, ale obrňte své city!
First I want to thank NetGalley and the publisher for my ARC for a fair and honest review.This is one of those books that I know will stay with me for a very long time! I had a hard time putting down this well written piece of historical fiction. This is the story of Gerhard and Karl Strangl and covers their lives from pre-WWII in Hamburg, Germany through the end of their lives. The do or die mentality that these men faced throughout WWII was heartbreaking. What would you do if you were in the s [...]
This was a disappointing read for me and it felt in real need of some focus. There are two main story lines for the two main characters. Yet, about halfway through the novel, we are briefly introduced to another perspective. It didn't add much to the story, and in fact, made the novel even less smooth than it was already. In the midst of all of these stories, the reader is introduced to a TON of other characters. There is little to no development of any of these secondary characters, and yet we [...]
This is a story about 2 brothers, Karl and Gerhard! They seem like reasonable good standing well meaning citizens and had good faith in their choices. Instead they were trapped and did things they didn't know they had in them to do and live with. It is thought provoking, even in present day, do people settle and join the other side hoping to make a difference (not realizing the damage]???I only give the book 4 instead of 5 stars because at times the writing and story went from extremes, some cha [...]
This book is excellent! The story of two German brothers caught up in World War II who both serve the Nazis in their own ways gives the reader a unique look into the war. It reminds me of a made for TV movie called "Hitler's SS". The brother angle is central to both. It's deep and detailed in a fantastic way. It's a page turner!
Uhyre velskrevet og barsk roman, hvor vi følger Anden Verdenskrig fra to tyske brødres synspunkt. Bogen fortæller hvordan det er at se sit land blive grebet af vanvid og opleve det forplante sig til en selv, uanset om man vil eller ej.
Recenze: thebooktalkblog/20Vynikající kniha, ovšem velmi náročná a rozhodně ne pro každého. Recenze bude brzy!
Into the maelstromTwo middle class German brothers, one a business man, the other an academic, neither of them Nazis, find themselves increasingly drawn into a whirlpool of acceptance, participation and direct control of Nazi atrocities and war crimes. Written in a simple objective style, the brothers are caught in a trap which will destroy themselves and their families. Terrifyingly plausible.
This is a difficult book to review. We are viewing WWII through the eyes of two German brothers. It took me awhile to read. I kept putting down the book. It is a bitter source of conflict. My positive outlook on life wants to believe the action of the brothers was self preservation. But no, it was not just war. It was murder. This War destroyed cities, families, homes, lives and the character of many good men.
This is a slow burner of a story that gets better as it goes along. It is about two men, Gerhard an introverted university maths professor and his older brother Karl who runs, but with little enthusiasm, the family clothing manufacturer business set up by their late father. Both men have not really had to face up to the realities of Nazi Germany as yet. Both hope it will just go away but of course it doesn't. Karl, who fought in WW1, is eventually glad to escape his work life and the prospect of [...]
I have read many books on this period in history. My father-in-law came to the United States before World War II. He had a hard time with people accusing him of being a Nazi, so my husband doesn't really like me to read about this period. The book is in three parts, and the first part seemed to go on forever. It gave the background of the two brother's, and others in the story. I found it interesting to see the story through the eyes of German people, even though the novel was written by a Dane. [...]
To be honest, I don't know how to rate this book. It was a very compelling book. This is a novel about two German brothers, and the elder brother's son during WWII. The tone of the book gives one the impression that these brothers, one an officer in the SS, and the other a commandant of a concentration camp, didn't have a choice about what they did during the war. The hint here (my opinion), seems to be that they were not totally responsible for the lives they destroyed.I don't think this book s [...]
A thoroughly depressing read - a painstaking trip through a Hamburg family during the rise of National Socialism and the World War II, and how the men in the family end up "falling into the Gestapo". In many ways a ridiculous storyline, if the banality of evil and the cowardice of man was now not such an reiterated trope. It certainly leaves the book nowhere to go, it is content to have its lead characters be horrified by the acts they are implicated in, and laterly take part in, without ever le [...]
I usually avoid movies/books on WWII because I heard enough about it during my childhood (my family is from Alsace, the only French region annexed by the Nazis), but I chose to read this book as part of my research for my second novel. What attracted me was that for the first time, I would read about the war from the Germans' point of view. The story of two German brothers getting involved with the SS is compelling. The description of the Russian front during the winter (where my grandfather, dr [...]
This is an excellent book that attempts to address in the form of a novel the dilemma/question around why good Germans went along with Hitler, the SS and the Holocaust in the WW II era. Two brothers of different temperaments get caught up in the war and related atrocities in different ways, and they react to and are affected by their complicity in different ways. There have been scholarly and documentary treatments of this subject, but their depth and approach have always scared me off. This is [...]
Point of view from the other sideKindle first book: This is not my normal choice of reading, but it seemed important to do so. It humanized, to a point, what the German soldier was going through. Some caught up in this man's evilness and others just being drug along. What were they to do? It's such an important part of history that we can't forget. quickly things get out of hand and people are afraid to fight back. It's well written from many view points, even the Russians. I'm glad I chose this [...]
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