• Grace Notes

  • Grace Notes are reviews and recommendations of books and movies read and seen by Dr. Grace Harlow Klein.

    Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini

    Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini is a novel based on true events occurring in the rise of Hitler – involving an American woman.

    “After Wisconsin graduate student Mildred Fish marries brilliant German economist, Arvid Harnack, she happily accompanies him to his homeland, where a promising future awaits.  In the thriving intellectual culture of 1930s Berlin, the newlyweds create a rich new life filled with love, friendships, and rewarding work – but the rise of a malevolent new political faction inexorably changes their fate.

    As Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party wield violence and lies to seize power, Mildred, Arvid, and their friends resolve to resist.  Mildred gathers intelligence for her American contacts, including Martha Dodd, the vivacious and very modern daughter of the U.S. ambassador.  Her German friends, aspiring author Greta Kuckhoff and literature student Sara Weitz, risk their lives to collect information from journalists, military officers, and officials within the highest levels of the Nazi regime.

    For years, Mildred’s network stealthily fights to bring down the Third Reich from within.  But when Nazi radio operatives detect an errant Russian signal, the Harnack resistance cell is exposed, with fatal consequences.  Inspired by actual events, Resistance Women is an enthralling unforgettable story of ordinary people determined to resist the rise of evil, sacrificing their own lives and liberty to fight injustice and defend the oppressed.

    In part the author notes “the parallels to our own time were harrowingly evident as she found and uncovered the story of Mildred Fish Harnack.”  Jacket cover

    This riveting “spy novel” touches deeply about the rise of right wing fascism in our own country and the efforts of ordinary people to resist.  It challenges one to think about, “What am I doing to promote and preserve democracy?”  “To what lengths would I go to resist?”


    Sadako by Eleanor Coerr and Ed Young

    Sadako was a young girl in Japan who developed leukemia when she was twelve, ten years after the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.  The legend that making a thousand paper cranes will being wellness was part of Sadako’s life during her illness.  The children’s book by Eleanor Coerr with beautiful illustrations by Ed Young tells her story.Today in the Peace Museum in Hiroshima there are photographs of Sadako and her family.  And there is a place to make and leave paper cranes.  The cranes are strung in long chains and sent all over the world to events promoting peace.   

    Rhw Museum was created by the people to promote peace – that no one again experiences the ravages of nuclear warfare. I was there with my friend, Natsumi Morita.  It was a very moving experience. The statue of Sadako in the Peace Park is engraved“Peace in the World.”