From my list on German history that aren't about the Nazis.
Who am I?
I was born in East Germany and experienced the disappearance of that country and the huge changes that followed as a child. My history teachers reflected this fracture in the narratives they constructed, switching between those they had grown up with and the new version they had been told to teach after 1990. It struck me how little resemblance the neat division of German history into chapters and timelines bears to people’s actual lives which often span one or even several of Germany’s radical fault lines. My fascination with my country’s fractured memory has never left me since.
Katja's book list on German history that aren't about the Nazis
Why did Katja love this book?
Growing up in rural Brandenburg, just outside of Berlin, the towering figure of Frederick the Great accompanied my childhood. One of my earliest memories is running down the endless steps of the vineyard terraces at his summer palace of Sanssouci, excited by the splendour of the landscaped gardens below. On these family outings, my father would tell me tales about how ‘Old Fritz’ introduced the potato in Germany and how he won many wars by whipping the Prussian army into shape. But Frederick was also a complicated and troubled man. A patron of the arts and fascinated by the ideals of the Enlightenment, he could also be ruthless in pursuing his ambition to make Prussia a European power. Blanning’s excellent biography captures Frederick in all his complexity.