Marione and her husband Daniel are dear friends who are frequent visitors (and occasional subjects) on this blog. We often get together, and they tell me about their many interesting endeavors.
The photo above was taken a few days ago when we had lunch after an unusually long absence. The Ingrams spent the month of January in Hamburg, Germany, where Marione spoke at five separate "author talks" to promote the recent release of the German-language edition of her book, The Hands of War.
The original English-language version was published two years ago to rave reviews. The memoir opens with eight-year-old Marione attempting to revive her mother, who had attempted suicide after receiving a concentration camp deportation notice. That event occurred just as Allied planes began their destruction of Hamburg in ten days and nights of bombing, the most devastating single air raid of the European war... and the greatest man-made firestorm the world has ever seen.
Marione has recounted the story of her mother's attempted suicide many times. But as she began to tell this story to one audience at the start of her author tour there, Marione started crying and was soon sobbing uncontrollably, an outpouring of emotion that lasted over a minute. Soon, half the audience was also in tears. Sharing the story in the city where it happened 73 years ago proved cathartic for her.
Marione and Daniel were blown away by the warm reception they received in Hamburg. It was standing room only at every event. There were great stories in the newspapers about Marione and her book. The Ingrams had the sense that many Germans were consciously trying to do penance for the sins of the Nazi years.