This was a great read! It's told from three different points of view and the women are all brave and amazing in their own way! Great story!
This was a great historical fiction novel. I actually learned so much that I didn't know. This story has multiple points of view and follows three different women's stories. We also follow get to know a nurse very well, once she finds out what is going on in Hitler's breeding houses she still stays to help the women, but in the end she changes their lives and really fights for what is right. Overall I gave this book a 4.25 stars. Great read.
For the most part this was a very written historical fiction. This is a part of history I’ve heard of but didn’t know too much about so it was interesting to read a book on it. I found the ending to be a bit abrupt, and would have liked to have more background on some of the characters
This book has everything I love--womens voices, interwoven time lines, a little mystery. It was a lot of fun to read and I'd recommend it to any lover of WWII fiction.
I just don't want to read any more WWII trauma p*rn books. couldn't get into this even if it is a slightly different area of focus than typical WWII fic.
This book is on a fascinating topic, and one I've been studying and writing about myself for the last three years. I was excited to read this novel and get another writer's take. I appreciated the three perspectives of very different women, which capture the indoctrination and also the casual acceptance of many German people of the time.
I was perplexed that the stories did not weave together. Two of the them do, but the third dangles, as if it's not part of the same narrative at all.
There were also some inaccuracies about Lebensborn, which very few people living today would catch. The biggest one is that misconceptions about the program are reinforced, that it was a place where girls came to learn how to woo SS men. In reality, women came there already pregnant, or to be employees. Both postpartum mothers and employees were. expected to become pregnant again as soon as possible, and Lebensborn made sure they came into contact with SS men, but there wasn't a herd of girls just living there for that purpose.
Also, one character mentions taking a pregnancy test, which did not exist until decades after the story takes place.
I both read and listened to the audio version of Cradles of the Reich and I was immediately drawn into young Gundi's story. It really is horrifying how they treated the Jewish people in Germany during World War 2. But I found it interesting and thought the narrator did a wonderful job!
Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review. All opinions are my own.
Publication date: 11 October 2022
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me a free advanced copy of this book to read and review.
I could not finish this. The way the book jumped around between being third person and first person and the thoughts were not properly distinguished between the present. I loved the idea of the book but couldn’t not continue.
Such a well written book but now days I can only take so much so didn't love it as much as I should have. Great research too.
I want to preface this review with the caveat that this book isn't for everyone. Reading this book made me pretty uncomfortable, but in a good way - in the way it was intended. The topic explored in this book - the Lebensborn project - wasn't something I knew a whole lot about prior to reading this. If you asked me what it was, I could have probably told you it was a Nazi thing during WW2 and the Holocaust about stealing and making more Aryan babies. But I didn't realize how deep and impactful this "program" really was. You can tell how much research the author did when putting this book together and how authentic she wanted it to feel. I really think more people need to read this book. Those who don't study and learn from history are doomed to fall victim to it.
Eerie book about a Nazi breeding program and the lengths mothers will go to protect their children. The book has a fascinating and upsetting at the same time story line. However, I do feel like the writing fell short on this large story.
Historical fiction takes a hold of me every time! A very emotional and sometimes disturbing read, but one that is meant to be heard. Hard truths are difficult and this book appears to have been deeply researched and well written. Be ready to have your heart strings pulled!
Set against the backdrop of historical events, in 1935 during World War II, the Lebensborn Society Maternity Breeding Program emerged as a creation of the Nazis, intended to foster a so-called “master race.” The narrative unfolds through the experiences of three fictional women ensnared within the machinery of Lebensborn Society’s maternity homes.
One of these young women, Gundi, carries the child of the Jewish man she loves, a secret she guards closely as she is involuntarily sent away to bear what is meant to be a “racially pure” baby. Meanwhile, another young woman, Hilde, is a pregnant zealot devoted to the man wreaking havoc on lives and nations; she’s a fervent believer willing to make great sacrifices for her country. The third character, Irma, aged forty-two and estranged from her previous life, accepts a job at the same Bavarian breeding home where the two young pregnant women have been taken.
The existence of these homes where newborns were born, and the heartbreaking reality of babies being separated from their murdered parents in other countries, only to be chosen and handed over to German couples supporting the Reich, is truly harrowing and terrifying.
This story delves much deeper into these chilling historical events, making it an essential read for readers of historical fiction.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for sending a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Cradles of the Reich is a different look at Nazi Germany through the lives of three women that all meet at a breeding home called Heim Hochland.
Gundi was a university student who is part of the resistance group. Hilde is a true believer and is pregnant by a Nazi officer. Irma is a nurse that was desperate to build a new life. All three of these women are at the breeding house under different circumstances but learn a lot about themselves and each other.
This was a different take on WWII Nazi Germany. Seeing through the eyes of three women instead of soldiers. I thought it was a little slow at times and didn’t really like any of the characters.
I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
I was very excited to read Jennifer Coburn’s book “Cradles of the Reich.” I love reading World War 11 novels and learning about the history of the era and I was pleasantly surprised to find that Miss Coburn was able to show a different side of the war that I had never read about before. The story focused on there different women who were pregnant and not married and whose main role within the war was to basically be “Aryan incubators.” These three different women all from different walks of life and with different views of the war and of the Nazis all gave birth to babies and these babies are then adopted to SS officers families. This was a very interesting read and something that I was not aware of. Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book for an unbiased review.
A very eye opening novel. There were some tough parts to get through. Well researched and interesting story about the evils in this world and during ww2.
Such an emotional read! The authors writing is so well written it makes you feel like you are there with them.
It was very informational as well as intriguing. I wanted to know more but it was kind of a heavy read as well.
The ending felt a little rushed but I still very much enjoyed this!
CRADLES OF THE REICH
Set in 1939 Berlin, this is the story of three women of varying opinion of the Nazi Party’s leadership in Germany. Due to differing circumstances, they are placed at the Heim Hochland in Steinhöring Bavaria, a Lebensborn Society Home. It is an Aryan breeding retreat. Established by Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler, Heim Hochland “provides the very best maternity care for racially pure girls until their babies are born.” It also serves as a brothel for Nazi officers. In addition it acts as an adoption agency for Aryan children orphaned during the war.
Gundi, is young and pregnant with a baby whose father, Leo is Jewish. Hilde, is young and naive. She is pregnant from Obergruppenführer Warner Ziegler, a married Nazi more than twice her age. Irma, is a nurse who served in the Great War at Potsdam Military Hospital.
I had mixed feelings on the book. It contained excellent historical detail. The story was easy to read and definitely interesting and informative. I felt it lacked depth in character development and felt a bit like a YA. It ended abruptly and feels like it needs a sequel. I also wished it had been more balanced between the three women’s viewpoints, too much focus on only one. Also, I felt the comparison of Nazism to white supremacy in the US was odd and reduced credibility.
I would like to thank NetGalley, Jennifer Coburn, and Sourcebooks Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book.
A really eye opening book to the evils of the Reich, and to the brain washing many of these women endured. I appreciate Coburn bringing this site of history to life.