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The Love That I Have

Margot Baumann is a German teenager during WWII. She lives in a small German town with her parents and older sister, her brothers being old enough to be soldiers. In 1944, her sister is promoted and Margot takes over her job working in the mailroom of Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Her job is to destroy mail from and for camp inmates. Her 14-year old sensibilities are affronted – surely the Fuhrer doesn’t condone this? She saves some letters and through them comes to know inmate Dieter Kleinschmidt.

‘The Love that I Have’ offers a very different view of WWII, from the perspective of two young people, both Germans, both swept up in the maelstrom of the war. Margot’s growing awareness of her world, and her connection with Deiter, create a widening gulf between her and her family, particularly with her mother who maintains a slavish devotion to Hitler. Margot’s acts of rebellion put her in many dangers, only some of which she fully comprehends, but her determination to make a difference impels her onwards. Recommended for secondary readers.

Reviewed by Claire