Cover image for The pendulum : a granddaughter's search for her family's forbidden Nazi past / Julie Lindahl.
Title:
The pendulum : a granddaughter's search for her family's forbidden Nazi past / Julie Lindahl.
ISBN:
9781538111932
Publication Information:
Lanham, Maryland : Rowman & Littlefield, [2019]
Physical Description:
xii, 243 pages ; 24 cm
Abstract:
"This powerful memoir traces Brazilian-born American Julie Lindahl's journey to uncover her grandparents' role in WWII as she is driven to understand why they became members of Hitler's elite, the SS. Out of the unbearable heart of the story--the unclaimed guilt that devours a family through generations--emerges an unflinching will to learn the truth"-- Provided by publisher.
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Summary

Summary

This powerful memoir traces Brazilian-born American Julie Lindahl's journey to uncover her grandparents' roles in the Third Reich as she is driven to understand how and why they became members of Hitler's elite, the SS. Out of the unbearable heart of the story--the unclaimed guilt that devours a family through the generations--emerges an unflinching will to learn the truth. In a remarkable six-year journey through Germany, Poland, Paraguay, and Brazil, Julie uncovers, among many other discoveries, that her grandfather had been a fanatic member of the SS since 1934. During World War II, he was responsible for enslavement and torture and was complicit in the murder of the local population on the large estates he oversaw in occupied Poland. He eventually fled to South America to evade a new wave of war-crimes trials. The pendulum used by Julie's grandmother to divine good from bad and true from false becomes a symbol for the elusiveness of truth and morality, but also for the false securities we cling to when we become unmoored. As Julie delves deeper into the abyss of her family's secret, discovering history anew, one precarious step at a time, the compassion of strangers is a growing force that transforms her world and the way that she sees her family--and herself.


Author Notes

Julie Lindahl is an author and educator living in Sweden. She is a contributor to WBUR Cognoscenti and has been featured on National Public Radio. Julie holds a BA from Wellesley College, an MPhil in international relations from Oxford University, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Frankfurt. She is the founder of Stories for Society, a nonprofit organization for renewing the art of story-making among youth for social transformation. WBUR 90.9 won the 2018 Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in innovation and the 2018 Associated Press Media Editor's Award for innovation in storytelling based on a program series featuring her story.


Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

In a work a lifetime in the making, author and educator Lindahl (On My Swedish Island) writes of her awakening to the pieces missing in her history and the drive that led her to ask difficult questions about her grandparents and their roles in the Nazi SS. In a quest that takes her from her adopted homeland of Sweden, then to Germany, Poland, Bosnia, and Brazil, she describes with grace and heart the people and places she's encountered. From discovering unknown family in South America to accepting that wounds were necessary to open in order to heal, Lindahl shows how generations can suffer silence and shame throughout the years, and the importance of coming to terms with the truth in order to find closure. VERDICT This powerful work reveals how people adversely impacted by the past persevere, even while living alongside the perpetrators who still carry prejudice. See also works such as Martin P. Davidson's Perfect Nazi or Jennifer Teege and Nikola Sellmair's My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me.-Maria Bagshaw, Elgin Community Coll. Lib., IL © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Prologuep. vii
Part I "Quiet Is Best"
Chapter 1 Sweden, 2015p. 3
Chapter 2 West Germany, 1989p. 6
Chapter 3 The United Kingdom, 1990p. 18
Chapter 4 Germany, 1997p. 24
Chapter 5 Germany, 2010p. 34
Chapter 6 Germany, 2012p. 45
Chapter 7 Germany, 2012p. 55
Chapter 8 Poland, 2012p. 61
Chapter 9 Germany, 2013p. 79
Chapter 10 Germany, 2013p. 94
Chapter 11 Poland, 2013p. 109
Chapter 12 Auschwitz, 2013p. 120
Chapter 13 Bosnia Herzegovina, 2014p. 124
Part II The Red Dust
Chapter 14 Sweden, June 2015p. 131
Chapter 15 Latin America, February 2016p. 139
Chapter 16 Asunción, February 2016p. 151
Chapter 17 Asunción, February 2016p. 159
Chapter 18 Asunción, March 2016p. 165
Chapter 19 Asunción, March 2016p. 172
Chapter 20 São Paulo, March 2016p. 179
Chapter 21 Campo Grande, March 2016p. 190
Chapter 22 Campo Grande, March 2016p. 196
Chapter 23 Maracaju, March 2016p. 202
Chapter 24 Maracaju, March 2016p. 213
Chapter 25 Brasilia, March 2016p. 223
Chapter 26 Stockholm, May 2017p. 231
Acknowledgmentsp. 239
Suggested Readingp. 241
About the Authorp. 243