My Father's Country: Story of a German Family (Hardcover)

Story of a German Family

By Wibke Bruhns, Shaun Whiteside (Translator)

Knopf, 9780307262813, 384pp.

Publication Date: May 6, 2008



On August 15, 1944, Major Hans Georg Klamroth was tried for treason for his part in the July plot against Hitler. Eleven days later, he was executed.

Wibke Bruhns, his youngest daughter, was six years old. Decades later, watching a documentary about the events of July 20, she saw images of her father in court 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.”

How could her patriotic family succumb to Nazi sympathies? And what made her father finally renounce Hitler? With a wealth of letters and diaries documenting the story of her family, from the time of Kaiser Wilhelm to the end of the Second World War, and with her own coruscating intelligence, she unravels her family's unique and unforgettable history.

My Father’s Country tells an astounding story—gripping, startlingly intimate, emotionally riveting—of three generations. A huge best seller in the author’s native country, it offers unparalleled insight into the experience of being German in the last century. A real-life Buddenbrooks.

Praise For My Father's Country: Story of a German Family

“A literary feat of extraordinary courage. . . . An intimate glimpse into the heart of darkness. . . . Illuminating.”
The Washington Times

“A clear-eyed portrait of a flawed man living in complex-and nightmarish-times.”

“In a time of bogus memoirs that, when exposed to air, crumble before Oprah's baleful glare, My Father's Country is the genuine article.”
Chicago Sun-Times

“Fascinating. . . . For anyone interested in the German psyche between the wars . . . [this] should be compelling reading.”
Providence Journal

“A searing, painful inquiry.... Riveting and heartbreaking.”