I find that people who are interested in World World II and the Nazi war machine think everything that needs to be said has been said. Then along comes a book like Underground in Berlin and you realize there is still much to learn from those who survived and there isn’t much time left. Fortunately for us as readers, Marie Simon’s son had her record her memories on tape shortly before she died. This book is a result of those tapes. I don’t want to give away any of the story because it is a fascinating read – not only for human resilience (obviously she survives if she recorded her life) but for pure determination.
There are many things that surprise me in this story and I hope readers will stop and consider what they would have done in her circumstances and then, in this light, how we are addressing the humanitarian crisis going on in Europe today. To be sure, these events are not in the same category, but as beings of this world, it would behoove all of us to stop and reconsider our positions on refugees and their plight. Our kindness can mean the difference between life and death no matter if you are talking about immigrants or refugees. I puzzle over how tenuous our own safety is and how willingly we allow others to control aspects of our life.
Fight or flight – either could mean life or death and to be sure many people die gambling on these odds. Read this book – it’s more like a page turning diary than a “gotcha” mystery novel but you will be glad you did if for no other reason than you remember that you create your own destiny.