Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Date: October 2018
Duration: 3 hours 45 minutes
* Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award * Silver Medal Society of Illustrators *
* Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times, The Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, Comics Beat, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Kirkus Reviews, and Library Journal
This “ingenious reckoning with the past” (The New York Times), by award-winning artist Nora Krug investigates the hidden truths of her family’s wartime history in Nazi Germany.
Nora Krug was born decades after the fall of the Nazi regime, but the Second World War cast a long shadow over her childhood and youth in the city of Karlsruhe, Germany. Yet she knew little about her own family’s involvement; though all four grandparents lived through the war, they never spoke of it.
After twelve years in the US, Krug realizes that living abroad has only intensified her need to ask the questions she didn’t dare to as a child. Returning to Germany, she visits archives, conducts research, and interviews family members, uncovering in the process the stories of her maternal grandfather, a driving teacher in Karlsruhe during the war, and her father’s brother Franz-Karl, who died as a teenage SS soldier. In this extraordinary quest, “Krug erases the boundaries between comics, scrapbooking, and collage as she endeavors to make sense of 20th-century history, the Holocaust, her German heritage, and her family's place in it all” (The Boston Globe). A highly inventive, “thoughtful, engrossing” (Minneapolis Star-Tribune) graphic memoir, Belonging “packs the power of Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and David Small’s Stitches” (NPR.org).