“This thoughtful, well-told story will appeal to anyone concerned about the resurgence of racism, nationalism, and far-right ideologies today.”
A rare photo of the author's father (second from left) in 1939 or 1940 with other young men from his home town who enlisted in the German military.
Quitting the master race
A Daughter’s Search Journey to Break the Bonds of Hate seeks to answer a pressing question for our times: How do ordinary otherwise decent people become mesmerized by a doctrine of hate? How can its grip be broken? In looking for answers, Barbara Leimsner confronts the past to discover how one ordinary man--her adored German papa--in his youth became thoroughly indoctrinated with Nazi ideology. Its hateful tentacles reached into her young life as he filled her head with beliefs about Aryan superioroity, racist stereotypes, and conspiracy theories.
Leimsner sweeps the reader from immigrant working-class life in 1960s suburban Ontario, back to fascism's rise in her father's former Sudeten homeland and into war.
As she weaves together the roots of her shameful inheritance, she also discovers deeper truths about herself--and the cure for hate.
This thoughtful, highly readable, compelling story will appeal to anyone concerned about the rise of racism, nationalism, and far-right ideologies today and everyone interested in the Nazi legacy of hate. It will speak to those with German ancestry grappling with that past, and readers interested in the immigrant experience, issues of inter-generational memory, identity, and trauma.