In the compelling memoir Hidden Beneath the Thorns, Ingeborg Tismer shares her fascinating journey of what it was like to be an ordinary German citizen during the Nazi regime.
As told to her daughter, Gabriele Quinn, Ingeborg provides a glimpse into the world of a young woman who grew up on her grandparents' farm with a pacifist mother and rigidly strict father, who in order to put bread on the table, was coerced into joining Hitler's private army, the SA. Interposed with historical chronicles, Ingeborg relays how at the age of ten, she joined the branch of Hitler youth for girls, thrilled to march to the beat of Nazi drums. But Ingeborg's grandparents resisted the Nazis whenever possible and hid Jewish families in a simple hillside dugout aided by Russian laborers placed on their farm. At the end of the war, Ingeborg and the remainder of her family were forced to live within dusty piles of broken bricks, sickly smells, and hungry survivors in the remnants of post-war Berlin.
Ingeborg's story chronicles how Adolf Hitler was able to seize and mold an entire people into a machine of madness and how the sanity of the outside world finally brought it all to an end.