"Girl in a Smart Uniform" is the third book in the Schellberg Cycle, a
collection of novels inspired by a bundle of photocopied letters that
arrived at a small cottage in Wales in 1979. The letters give us
first-hand insights into what life was like growing up in Germany in the
1930s and 1940s.
It is the most fictional of the stories to
date, though some characters, familiar to those who have read the first
two books, appear again here. Clara Lehrs, Karl Schubert and Dr Kühn
really existed. We have a few, a very few, verifiable facts about them.
The rest we have had to find out by repeating some of their experiences
and by using the careful writer's imagination.
husband dies too young. She will become a second mother to the young
children who live away from home in order to visit a rather special
school. When life becomes desperate for a particular class of disabled
children growing up in Nazi Germany she takes a few risks. Is her
ultimate faith in the goodness of human beings a fatal flaw that leads
to her tragedy, or is her story actually one of hope?
Street. She often meets up with her friend Hani Gödde who lives nearby.
This year, though, it is not to be. Just a few weeks after a night when
synagogues are burned and businesses owned by Jews are looted, Renate
finds out a terrible secret about her family.