Belonging by Nora Krug


A revelatory, visually stunning graphic memoir by award-winning artist Nora Krug, telling the story of her attempt to confront the hidden truths of her family’s wartime past in Nazi Germany and to comprehend the forces that have shaped her life, her generation, and history.Nora Krug was born decades after the fall of the Nazi regime, but the Second World War cast a long shadow throughout her childhood and youth in the city of Karlsruhe, Germany...

Details Belonging

Release DateOct 2nd, 2018
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, History, Autobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Cultural, Germany, European Literature, German Literature, Comics

Reviews Belonging

  • Melanie (Mel's Bookland Adventures)
    Can I give it an extra star?
  • Carrie Templeton
    I am almost overwhelmed at the depth and intensity of this graphic memoir. My husband is a second generation German American, his father was born in Germany shortly before the end of WWII and his mother is of Jewish heritage. As a child, my husband wasn’t taught German and learned very little of his father’s family, never heard stories of the homeland. Reading this book felt like peeking behind an unspoken curtain into some inkling of my fath...
  • Laura
    In "The Germans" episode of Fawlty Towers, Basil is told not to mention the war, but he does, frequently, until the guest break out in tears. At the time, I thought it odd that the germans would be upset about it. As Basil said, they started it.I bring this up, because the author of this story, is one such German, who knows about the war, but it is not talked about, though her father's older brother fought and died in World War II. This memoir of...
  • Elizabeth
    Belonging is an absolutely beautiful memoir full of questions about identity, family and homeland. Nora Krug was born and raised in Germany, in the shadow of World War II. Belonging is a deeply personal memoir about her struggles with German identity, coming to terms with her family history, and exploring the German idea of Heimat, or homeland. Her journey leads her to talking to Holocaust survivors in her new homeland of Brooklyn, traveling with...
  • Geoffrey
    (Note: I received an advanced reader's copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley)Between the real life photos and documents that are mixed with absolutely gorgeous art, and Nora Krug's meticulous documentation of her quest to unravel and understand her family's history, it's impossible to not feel like you were placed in the author's shoes and taken along for every single step of her journey. You will be unsettled by the same questions and worries ...
  • Deanna (Deanna Reads Books)
    This review was originally posted on my review blog Deanna Reads BooksThis graphic memoir is a really deep and poignant look at one's self. It's a really heavy topic, but I found it awesome to experience Nora's journey of self-discovery cool to be done in the graphic medium. I also loved that it wasn't a typical graphic novel. The book was drawn as if written in a notebook, and there were even real photos put into it to make it feel more real. On...
  • Molly
    A fascinating memoir of one woman's attempt to understand and connect with her own past, as well as the complicated past of Germany. It's well worth a read.I received access to this title via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
  • Deb
    We all Search: for roots, meaning, answers, stories, purpose. Nora Krug’s Belonging is the author’s journey of making her way back to the German towns her parents and relatives are from and learning their stories. It’s about Searching, Finding her own way, figuring out Collective Guilt, following the bread crumbs, hoping they’ll lead her ‘home.’ This ‘graphic memoir’ engaged me from the moment I opened it. Mesmerizing, creative, d...
  • Bruce Katz
    I’m not sure how to rate a book like this, what kinds of criteria to use. The author, a German expatriate married to a Jewish husband, has created a strikingly original work — a chimera — of enormous power, grace, and courage. Drawings, photographs, documents, and words are brought together in such a way as to capture the emotional complexity of her quest to discover her family’s lives (and, to a very real extent, the lives of other Germa...
  • Jessica Samuelson
    This was such a stunning book for me. “Stunning” in that it affected me in a way I did not expect.I have read lots of books about WWII—non-fiction, fiction, children’s & YA books, even a couple graphic novels/memoirs. Despite all that though, I had never given much thought to how that time period affects modern Germans. When I thought of post-war Germany at all it was mostly in relation to the Berlin Wall.With Nora as my guide, however, I...
  • Dlmrose
  • Emmah
    I love that the whole of this book was handwritten.
  • Tara
    In this memoir, Nora Krug researches her German family to help alleviate her feelings of guilt about World War II. She includes research from government sources and family photos to help her tell her family's story. Her book has the feel of a journal with her personal feelings about her discoveries, and a scrapbook with her drawings, photos, and documents that she explains to weave the story together. It is artistically arranged, and feels person...
  • Jesica DeHart
    Brace yourself to be consumed by this raw, deeply personal and revealing memoir. As a German, Nora Krug yearns to know the truth of her fractured family and in searching she aches to be absolved.
  • Alyssa
    Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me a free digital copy! In Belonging, Nora Krug wrestles with questions about what we inherit and the ways we can (and can't) heal. Though this account was deeply rooted in Nora's family history and her questions about her grandparents during WWII, I (a Southern American) found it deeply relatable and touching. All families have fractures, and Nora's narrative did full justice to the longing to ...
  • Beth
    This book is so powerful and emotional and eye-opening. Krug takes us with her on a journey to uncover the buried history of her homeland and her family; Krug's watercolor-esque illustrations, historical photographs, and found objects take it to another level. Everyone should read this.*Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC, provided by the author and/or the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
  • John
    This is a wonderful book, for many reasons. I come from a country that was occupied by the Germans during WWII, and have heard horrific stories about them. The entire male population of a village next to the one where my parents grew up was executed by the Germans, while children such as my father were malnourished because the Germans were stealing everything the village produced. Everywhere in the country there are monuments that remind everyone...
  • Helen
    The author is on a journey,a very personal quest to discover the Heimat of her family before, during and after WWII. Her desire to find out what happened is told in a most unusual way, through a hand printed, memory scrapbook.I have wondered for some time how Germans lived through the war; how they regarded their role as it played out at home. What did they know? How did they participate in the execution and transportation of Jews from their comm...
  • Wayne McCoy
    'Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home' by Nora Krug is a non-fiction graphic novel about the difficulty of finding one's place in the world with a troubled national history.Nora was born long after the fall of the Nazi party in Germany, but the guilt of her nation still hangs over her. She has an uncle that died in the war, and a grandfather that may or may not have been involved. Family accounts say he wasn't, but what is the truth?...
  • Michelle
    Belonging was a narrative of the author's ancestry told by using non-traditional pieces of history.I've truly never read a book formatted like this before. Not only was it entirely handwritten, it featured German schoolwork, old photographs, the author's illustrations, and more. It feels as-if I just read through a private scrapbook.This story was not only unique in the way it was told but in the message it was conveying. As an American, I have n...
  • Kathleen
    "I feel a sudden pain, shallow but sharp and all-consuming as a paper cut, because even inherited memory hurts." It's been a very long time since I have felt a book so deeply and I find it difficult to adequately express that depth of emotion. Having never given much thought to the subsequent generations that are coming after the war I am blown away by how blind I have been to the lasting and wide-spread impact of such a world event. This book wa...
  • Pat
    I received a free copy of "Belonging" by Nora Krug, through the "Good Reads First Reads Giveaway."Hitler was a master of evil, who twisted a technically advanced and cultured nation into a horrible attempt to dominate the world.This is an honest and sincere attempt to review the impact of WWII on a typical German family. Both my father and father-in-law, risked their lives fighting the Nazi war machine and this made me uncomfortable regarding Ger...
  • Heather
    It's not popular to rate this only a 3, but I have to do it. The illustrations throughout were truly interesting and the best part of the book. I really liked that each page was it's own little surprise of images. The writing though... it dragged. It dragged for so long with little to come of it. You know those movies you watch where they just ramble through a day and there is no real 'story'? That's how this book felt. She has guilt, curiosity, ...
  • Jennybeast
    I found this account to be both fascinating and moving. It grapples head-on with the unease of being part of a population coming to terms with acknowledging past abuses on a national scale, the topic of reparation and whether that can ever be enough, and the immediacy of identity dysphoria that inherited shame creates. This is a topic that I expect/hope to see more of in the future -- I think America has a lot of buried topics that we need to une...
  • Wendy
    I really enjoyed this book. The great details (pictures/information) made me feel like I was there alongside her during her journey. It was such a quick read because I didn't want to put it down. I really wanted to know what she would discover next. Sometimes, when reading books with this subject matter, I can take months to read the whole thing. I think the fact that this was a graphic memoir, it really drew me into the story much more than a ty...
  • Chris
    Amazingly done - difficult to read at first due to cartoon handwritten format - but once you adjust, you read the author's personal journey of discovery. I would love to communicate with the author as I spent many years during the Cold War as an American child-teenager living there. At that time, the focus was on the communist threat, that was our reason for being there. My classmates and I loved living in Germany. The descriptions of German brea...
  • Manda
    There are books I love to read, subjects I love to read about, and books I love to recommend. This one checks 2/3. Nora Krug’s search for identity and place is a fascinating one and is told skillfully here with photos and documents and illustration and mixed media. It’s just understandable heavy. So heavy that I had to take multiple week-long breaks which is wholly uncharacteristic for me. Nora’s father was born to be a replacement for a ch...
  • Andrienne
    A brave quest by a woman searching for clarity. I was deeply moved by her earnest search to find her identity and heritage. Her illustrations, words, and photographs are able to convey something graceful despite the difficult topic. This is an important work that needs to be read and discussed. Thanks to the publisher for access to the review copy.
  • Edward Sullivan
    In this fascinating, deeply personal, honest and revealing graphic memoir, Krug wrestles with her conflicted feelings about being German, and chronicles her relentless investigation into her family's role in the Nazi regime and the Holocaust.
  • Kiri
    Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to read a digital copy of this book in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.A poignant and moving look into the author's family history and national heritage.