Random House, Inc. A huge bestseller in Germany for over a year, My Father’s Country offers extraordinarily moving and riveting insight into the experience of being German in the last century.
On August 26, 1944, Hans Georg Klamroth, officer in the German army and member of the SS, was executed for high treason for his participation in the July 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler. My Father’s Country is the extraordinary work of Klamroth’s daughter, Wibke, born only six years before her father’s death.
Decades later, Bruhns was watching a TV documentary about the events of July 1944 when images of her father in the court room suddenly appeared on screen. “I stare at this man with the empty face. I don’t know him. But I can see myself in him — his eyes are my eyes; I know I resemble him. I know I wouldn’t be here without him. And what do I know about him? Nothing at all.”
Based on an extensive collection of family letters, private diaries, photographs and even menus, My Father’s Country traces Wibke Bruhns’ father’s, and more widely, her well-to-do merchant family’s, life in the Germany of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. With it, Bruhns not only brings to life the nuances of this world — its culture and its assumptions, politics and beliefs — but also comes to know, finally, the mysterious father she barely remembers.