Because the ends Germany fought for were so vile, it’s easy to overlook the humanity of the German people. The fact that, very often, it was their best qualities – their courage, their patriotism, their industriousness – that led to the greatest evil, is what makes their stories compelling.
With this in mind, I think the time is ripe for an important, commercially successful book that is more iterated than the usual tales we tell ourselves about the Second World War. In The Girl who Shook Hands with Hitler I try to do what Wouk would have done if he’d written about the war in Europe from the other side . . . only without the Forrest Gump aspects of War and Remembrance or the tedium of Winds of War.
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