Ensnared in the Wolf’s Lair: Inside the 1944 Plot to Kill Hitler and the Ghost Children of His Revenge

Ann Bausum. National Geographic Kids, $19.99 (144p) ISBN 978-1-4263-3854-0
Bausum (The March Against Fear) reveals a nearly forgotten chapter of WWII, one centered on the retribution faced by the children and families of Germans who failed in an effort to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Revenge known as Sippenhaft (“family punishment”) came swiftly following the 1944 attempt to bomb Hitler inside one of his bunkers: “Hitler wanted the Sippenhaft policy applied as broadly as possible within the families of the conspirators.” Children were separated from parents, rounded up by Gestapo, and secreted away to a forested youth retreat, some for almost a year, where they were given new surnames, forbidden from speaking in public, and called “ghost children” by the outside community. Based on extensive research and interviews with some of these children—now octo- and nonagenarians—this detailed account offers overlapping family stories and numerous names, which at times can be hard to keep straight. Maps, archival photographs, and documents from Nazi Germany, as well as photographs of the Sippenhaft families, round out this comprehensive account that provides a glimpse into the horror and trauma of the Nazi regime. Back matter includes a timeline, a meticulous listing of the Sippenhaft families whose children were detained, a resource guide, further reading, a bibliography, source notes, and index. Ages 12–up. Agent: Hannah Mann, Writers House. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 12/03/2020
Release date: 01/12/2021
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 144 pages - 978-1-4263-3855-7
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