Review: Red Love: The Story of an East German Family

Red Love: The Story of an East German Family
Red Love: The Story of an East German Family by Maxim Leo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A beautiful story of a family living through incredibly difficult times. This book scopes three generations of a family starting from just after World War I to present day, highlighting the individual and familial struggles to find meaning through political upheaval and disappointment.

Maxim Leo’s family had the unique position that every family member had widely different relationships to the GDR. Some fought for, some against. Some against and then for. Some for, then against. Some of these family members were never discussed. Thankfully, Leo had the incredible luxury of well-kept records, Stasi files, photographs, tapes, and time to interview his family before they passed. All this paints a complicated and nuanced picture of the human passion and suffering that led up to the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall.

In the Europe of today, it’s almost impossible to imagine that all this took place not so long ago. In many parts of the world, like North Korea, it still is. And behind the facade of unanimous faith and loyalty to party ideals, families wrestle with doubt as they hope for a better life. And the doubt to come when their hopes are suddenly realized.

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