A Quiet Genocide from new author Glenn Bryant is a quiet book. Right up until it punches you in the gut. It’s historical fiction with a topic I’ve never seen broached. And I’ve read WW2 stories for decades now.
It opens in post-WW2 Munich with the Diederichs. They’re a small family—just young parents and their grade school aged son. Catharina is a housewife, and Gerhard is a businessman. Young Jozef is a typical boy. But Gerhard drinks too much, Catharina is dissatisfied with life, and Jozef is mischievous. And Gerhard has a friend, Michael, who’s uncomfortably menacing.
The book then jumps forward to Josef’s first year at university, when things start to unravel. Catharina is more restless. Gerhard is less discreet. And Jozef begins to question his own reality.
Since the book’s subtitle is The Untold Holocaust of Disabled Children in WW2 Germany, I anticipated grisly details. When Bryant delivers, it’s more of an intense emotional hit than a gruesome one. But it still hurts. Especially given the kinds of things happening in the 2018 United States.
Bryant writes like an author with many more books to his credit. A Quiet Genocide is absorbing. Its truth-telling is subtle, and unfurls like a big black umbrella on a rainy day. The book has a darkness to it from the start. Then that umbrella opens and the true storm begins.
Bryant learned of this specific genocide while studying modern history at university. Stunned that it’s not taught more often, he determined to make people more aware. Using fiction as a tool makes the story more palpable. There were tens of thousands of families like the Diederichs. Their story deserves to be told.
I’m also intrigued to know about Amsterdam Publishers, a small house that specializes in Holocaust Memoirs and WW2 historical fiction. Their catalog looks like something to work my way through.
I hope you’ll give this book a try. The Kindle version will be available on August 22, just next week. It’s well worth your time!
Thanks to Glenn Bryant and Amsterdam Publishers for a digital advanced readers copy of A Quiet Genocide. As always, this review is entirely my own honest impressions and writing.