Berlin, 1941: Margarete stumbles out of the bombed-out house, the dust settling around her like snow. Mistaking her for the dead officer’s daughter, a guard rushes over to gently ask her if she is all right and whether there’s anything he can do to help her. She glances down at where the hated yellow star had once been and, with barely a pause, she replies "Yes."
Margarete Rosenbaum is working as a housemaid for a senior Nazi officer when his house is bombed, leaving her the only survivor. But when she’s mistaken for his daughter in the aftermath of the blast, Margarete knows she can make a bid for freedom. Issued with temporary papers — and with the freedom of not being seen as Jewish — a few hours are all she needs to escape to relative safety. That is, until her former employer’s son, SS officer Wilhelm Huber, tracks her down.
Strangely he doesn’t reveal her true identity right away. Instead he insists she comes and lives with him in Paris, and seems determined to keep her hidden. His only condition: she must continue to pretend to be his sister. Because whoever would suspect a Nazi girl of secretly being a Jew? His plan seems impossible, and Margarete is terrified they might be found out, not to mention worried about what Wilhelm might want in return. But as the Nazis start rounding up Jews in Paris and the Résistance steps up its activities, putting everyone who opposes the regime in peril, she realizes staying hidden in plain sight may be her only chance of survival. Can Margarete trust a Nazi officer with the only things she has left though — her safety, her life, even her heart?
From the Dark We Rise (Margarete's Journey Book 2) ~ by Marion Kummerow, 2021, historical fiction (Germany)
1942, Germany: "Please, let me help. I won’t tell anyone." It was madness to help an escaped prisoner in Nazi Germany, but how could she not? If it weren’t for a lucky strike of fate, she might be the woman on the ground shivering with fear. A light of hope entered the prisoner’s eyes.
When a young woman calling herself Annegret Huber unexpectedly inherits a huge fortune, including a house and factory just outside Berlin, her first thought is to try to see out the war quietly, avoiding the Gestapo and SS as best she can. No one needs to know her dark secret. She must focus on staying hidden, because she can’t risk being exposed for who she truly is. She's not really Annegret, but a girl living a secret life — a girl who was once called Margarete.
An encounter with an escaped prisoner changes everything, as Margarete discovers what is happening at the factory and its attached labor camp. Witnessing first-hand the suffering of prisoners — shivering, with faces gaunt from hunger, as they work in brutal and cruel conditions — she realizes she must act. If she can save just one life, she knows she has to, because the truth is that Margarete resembles the prisoners in the camp in ways she dare not admit. On the other side of the fence, she has seen a face that is achingly familiar.