In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson


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William E. Dodd became America’s Ambassador to Hitler’s Germany in 1933, bringing his family to Berlin with him. Based on correspondences between a number of very colorful individuals, including his flamboyant daughter, Martha, various public officials from Germany and the U.S., and much more, the story of an American family experiencing the horrors and confusion of a very painful dark mark in world history comes through, piece by piece, leaving the reader to decide for himself how such unspeakable events could possibly have been allowed to happen.

This is a non-fiction work based on letters and personal accounts of a number of different individuals, telling the painful tale of the persecution of the Jews, of Jew sympathizers, of the various other victims of the Nazi oppression, the birth of concentration camps (to keep jews safe, of course), and the corruption of a government that set branches against one another in bloody attacks leading to imprisonment and deaths.

If you enjoy reading about history and sociology of the past, and you like non-fiction that draws on your heart strings with brutal strength, leaving you in horror of the crimes that humans commit against one another, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin, by Erik Larson, is for you.  is for you. The Zookeeper’s Wife, by Diane Ackerman, is another suggested read in this genre, should you decide to delve in deeper.

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