Cradles of the Reich
ebook ∣ A Novel
By Jennifer Coburn
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"Every historical fiction novel should strive to be this compelling, well-researched and just flat-out good." — Associated Press
For fans of The Nightingale and The Handmaid's Tale, Cradles of the Reich uncovers a topic rarely explored in fiction: the Lebensborn project, a Nazi breeding program to create a so-called master race. Through thorough research and with deep empathy, this chilling historical novel goes inside one of the Lebensborn Society maternity homes that 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.
At the Heim Hochland maternity home in Bavaria, three women's lives coverage as they find themselves there under very different circumstances. 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. Despite their opposing beliefs, all three have everything to lose as they begin to realize they are trapped within Hitler's terrifying scheme to build a Nazi-Aryan nation.
A cautionary tale for modern times told in stunning detail, Cradles of the Reich uncovers a little-known Nazi atrocity but also carries an uplifting reminder of the power of women to set aside differences and work together in solidarity in the face of oppression.
"Skillfully researched and told with great care and insight, here is a World War II story whose lessons should not—must not—be forgotten." — Susan Meissner, bestselling author of The Nature of Fragile Things