The Children of Berlin⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Author: Sharon Maas


7/1/20233 min read

Book Blurb: 'I will never forgive you! You had a choice. You could have listened to your mother, your brother, your father, but you chose to listen to those monsters. And that choice remains with you. Forever.'
Berlin, 1933. Leah and Magda have been inseparable for as long as they can remember, and one beautiful summer's day in their courtyard, they vow nothing will ever come between their friendship. But Leah could never have predicted the darkness looming just around the corner...
As Hitler comes to power and the Nazi Party gain even more influence, Magda proudly tells Leah she has decided to join the Hitler Youth. Leah's blood runs cold before she begs Magda to change her mind - because Leah is Jewish. Magda refuses, and heartbroken Leah knows this will not only destroy their friendship, but put her life in mortal danger. Suddenly, the only light in her life is Magda's brother Markus , who is furious at his sister and vows to do everything he can to keep Leah safe.
As Magda becomes more entrenched in the Nazi Party, Leah's life starts to shatter as the Gestapo raid her home, sending her beloved brother Aaron to a concentration camp. Devastated, Leah and her parents are forced to flee and hide. Desperate to save Leah, Markus decides the only way he can help stop the Nazis and his sister is to infiltrate the party as an undercover resistance fighter. But will Magda see through his lie, and how far will she go to prove her loyalty to her Führer?

Book Review: I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

As an original Dutch girl, with grandparents surviving the 2nd world War and listening to their stories, I always have been drawn to 2nd World War books. Growing up in Amsterdam and visited the Anne Frank Museum so many times, the stories get to me every time.

Imagine yourself with your best friend. Friends from when you were young kids. Your parents are friends and see each other daily. Swearing to each other that nothing will ever come between you. But what if you are a Jewish girl and your best friend joins the nazis. I have never understood how you can love a person one day, but hate the same person the next day...only because someone else is telling you to do so.
That is the story of ‘The Children in Berlin’ by Sharon Maas.

It's the story of Leah, a Jewish girl and her best friend Magda who wants to be a proud German. The story starts as Leah received a letter from Magda, in which she tries to explain or excuse why she became a monster. The letter takes you back to just before Hitler got power. The letter is written from Magdas POV and Sharon brilliantly lets you in on Leah her memories of the events Magda describes in her letter (in Leah her POV). The story takes you all the way through the war and the heartache. The opposite views and experiences of Magda and Leah are so well written that it just sucks you in. I hate spoilers, so I won’t go into details.

I couldn't put this book aside. I read it holding my breath, I cried, I hated, I loved, I understood....I think I have gone through every emotion there is. How I admire Leah...her love, her strength and her willingness to eventually forgive. This may sound weird, but a part of me understood Magda her wish for a better life. I was, and still am amazed by how easy it can be to brainwash people. Targeting young naive children and turning them into horrific human beings. I wish we learned from that, but it's still happening around the world. This book just swept me away and even writing this review I'm overwhelmed with emotions. If I could I would give it 10 stars.