THE EXPULSION OF GERTA SCHNIRCH

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Welcome back on my Book Club! 🙂

This time I’m going to talk about book which is not translated to English yet (as I hope), but it’s definitely worth of mentioning. It’s written by Czech author called Katerina Tuckova.

The story starts at night between 30th and 31st May 1945, where we are firstly meeting the main character of this book, Gerta Schnirch, who’s Czech by her mum but unfortunately at that time, German by her father. She lives in town called Brno which is a part of Sudetenland.

The story continues by violent march of Germans to Vienna. They actually never end up in Vienna. Not all of them end up in Vienna. Men are separated from women, children and elderly. They’re sent to work camps which are similar to work camps for Jewish. The whole march is very violent, brutal and awful. To understand this whole situation, we should’ve know that on one hand, we have here people who survived war. During those 6 years they lost their homes, families, friends, neighbours so it makes sense why they felt angry and why they felt hate towards Germans. On the other hand, we have here Germans who were innocent as well. Not all of them participated in Nazi, they were born to German parents, etc.

While I was reading this part, I must admit I had to put this book down sometimes and give myself a time to take it in. Description of situations and people’s feelings was very authentic.

Through reading the story of Gerta, we are meeting other female characters, and finding more about their lives – their lives before war, during war and what happened to them after. We’ll know how they lived their lives as the whole book is actually about a whole life of Gerta Schnirch, and people who are surrounded by her.

If I’m being honest, I kind of liked Gerta. She seemed to have kind of nice childhood and puberty. She has never participated in Nazi things, she seemed to dislike it. Sometimes she did not understand to everything what was happening around her. Which is understandable. I don’t think that any teenager aged of 16/17 years would understand politics either.

What I really like about this book is, it goes through key moments of our history. The end of WW2, communism – which was in our country actually before 1968. In this book I found information which I did not know before. It helped me to understand more of people living there at that time, what they were going through and to understand their behavior and reaction under given such circumstances. It is a very sad part of our history and we shouldn’t forget it, ignore it but talk about it so the history wouldn’t repeat itself.

I highly recommend this book.

Would you read this book? Are you interested in this topic? What are your thoughts about it?

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