Tuesday 19 August 2014

Land Girls

We don’t really meet any land girls in the novel, though they are there in the background in the Renate strand. There are some working on the farm when Renate ends up living. Renate and her friends end up helping on the farm and many of their activities are similar to what the land girls would have done.  German girl Gerda is a farmer’s daughter and she also experiences many similar things.  
Micky Mitchell’s gives a good account of what life was like for a land girl in her A Country at War, memoirs of a land Girl.
Women had to work the land because men were off at war. They worked hard but also seemed to have a good social life as well – dances, entertainment evening by ENSA and huge supper gatherings when farmers had helped each other.   

What sort of work do you think the land girls had to do? 
How was this different from the way the German girls may have worked?
Which jobs are a farm are easier in the 21st century?
Why was ENSA useful?
Would something like ENSA be uesful today?
Do we in fact have anything like that?      

Wednesday 13 August 2014


Arguably we treated people in internment camps and prisoner of war camps better than the Nazis treated inmates of their prison camps, the concentration and death camps. However, we were still taking away human freedom and were depriving people of their normal living conditions.
Thankfully, Renate and Kathe Edler were not interned. They merely became Class B enemy aliens. Clara Lehrs was interned, with a tragic result.
Some German Jews were interned in Britain. Many of them later joined our forces.

Was it right to intern German Jews during World War II?
Can an internment camp be made humane?     

Wednesday 6 August 2014


This is quite a hard concept to understand, especially when we look at it very closely. Everyone has a right to hold beliefs and to try to persuade others of them. Sometimes though this can become very manipulative. We don’t see all that much of it in the novel, but we can assume that Renate and Kathe Edler and Clara Lehrs suffered because of it. Gisela, BDM leader, certainly understand the Nazi doctrine that the Jew is the enemy of the people.