Book Review: Cradles of the Reich
Three women, a nation seduced by a madman, and the Nazi breeding program to create a so-called master race
At Heim Hochland, a Nazi breeding home in Bavaria, three women's fates are irrevocably intertwined. Gundi is a pregnant university student from Berlin. An Aryan beauty, she's secretly a member of a resistance group. Hilde, only eighteen, is a true believer in the cause and is thrilled to carry a Nazi official's child. And Irma, a 44-year-old nurse, is desperate to build a new life for herself after personal devastation. All three have everything to lose.
Based on untold historical events, this novel brings us intimately inside the Lebensborn Society maternity homes that actually existed in several countries during World War II, where thousands of "racially fit" babies were bred and taken from their mothers to be raised as part of the new Germany. But it proves that in a dark period of history, the connections women forge can carry us through, even driving us to heroism we didn't know we had within us.
I have read many books in this time period. However, I am not familiar with Nazi-run breeding homes or The Lebensborn Society. Jennifer really did bring to life the story of these three women, Gundi, Irma, and Hilde. I truly felt for them and what they were going through.
Because Gundi was the first one introduced in this book, I felt an instant connection with her. It did not change, so you could say I had the strongest connection out of the three women with her. Although, this is not to say that Hilde and Irman did not play big parts in this book as well.
Once I started reading, I did find myself getting lost in a good way. This book was a fast read for me. Readers who enjoy reading historical fiction will want to pick up a copy of this book. Cradles of the Reich by Jennifer Coburn is not to be missed!