It’s 1934 in Germany and the Nazis are rising to power and kids are being taken from their homes to join the Hitler youth. These kids will be trained to be the future of the Nazi party and SS officers. Edmund was 14 years old when the Nazis came for him. His older sister Hedwig tried to stop them and her husband was murdered in the process.
With her brother gone, Hedwig takes over her husband’s secret mission to stop the Nazis from building concentration camps to kill the Jews. Hedwig also wants revenge for the death of her husband and she enlists her brother in America to help with those plans. Hedwig’s family enters a world of spies, double agents and the underground movement to stop the Nazis. There task is not an easy one and Edmund is torn between having to report anti Nazi behavior that he sees or helping his family.
Newborn Nazi by Rhoda D’Ettore is historical fiction thriller with enough twists to constantly keep you guessing. In the first part of this book I was positive the story was going to go a certain way with Hedwig and one of the SS officers starting a relationship. You see how the officer is changing as he starts to fall for her and I was enjoying how love was changing what appeared to be the story’s main villan. Then the author surprised me by taking the story in a different direction, changing the book from what seemed like a bizarre romance to a mystery and an emotional thriller.
Hedwig is a character who you can’t help to fall in love with. She is a victim of circumstance, she leads a life that she doesn’t want but does what she has to do in order to help others and do the right thing. One of the saddest part of the books is a scene where Hedwig realizes that she missed out on certain things in life and then things get much worse for her. Hedwig has the opportunity to be a good Nazi and lead an easier life but her conscience will not let her and this brings her into conflict with Edmund who believes that the Nazi way is right.
Another thing I liked about this book was how not all of the Nazis are shown as being bad. In some historical fiction books that I’ve read the Nazis are shown as being evil, where in Newborn Nazi some are bad while others are just doing what they need to do to survive. This book takes place over a long period of time and you watch as each character grows and their viewpoints change. I also liked how the Hitler youth camps are portrayed and how the kids are forced into believing a certain way.
Newborn Nazi takes place mostly in Germany but there are a few scenes with the main characters in America and I loved how time spent in America shapes some of the German characters. It doesn’t influence them the way you think it would and shows how unpredictable this book is. Newborn Nazi carries a theme about how powerful family love is. Even under the worst of circumstances and with opposing viewpoints, some families never break up but they are forever changed. Rhoda D’ Ettore puts some great research into her fiction and tells stories that have some great twists to it. If you love historical fiction you will like Newborn Nazi.