Cradles of the Reich: A Novel (Hardcover)
Three women, a nation seduced by a madman, and the Nazi breeding program to create a so-called master race
At Heim Hochland, a Nazi breeding home in Bavaria, three women's fates are irrevocably intertwined. Gundi is a pregnant university student from Berlin. An Aryan beauty, she's secretly a member of a resistance group. Hilde, only eighteen, is a true believer in the cause and is thrilled to carry a Nazi official's child. And Irma, a 44-year-old nurse, is desperate to build a new life for herself after personal devastation. All three have everything to lose.
Based on untold historical events, this novel brings us intimately inside the Lebensborn Society maternity homes that actually existed in several countries during World War II, where thousands of "racially fit" babies were bred and taken from their mothers to be raised as part of the new Germany. But it proves that in a dark period of history, the connections women forge can carry us through, even driving us to heroism we didn't know we had within us.
Jennifer Coburn is the author of Cradles of the Reich, a historical novel about three very different women living at a Nazi Lebensborn breeding home at the start of World War ll.
She has also published a mother-daughter travel memoir, We'll Always Have Paris, as well as six contemporary women's novels. Additionally, Jennifer has contributed to five literary anthologies, including A Paris All Your Own.
Jennifer lives in San Diego with her husband, William. Their daughter, Katie is currently in graduate school. When Jennifer is not going down historical research rabbit holes, she volunteers with So Say We All, a live storytelling organization, where she is a performer, producer, and performance coach. She is also an active volunteer with Reality Changers, a nonprofit that supports low-income high school students in becoming the first in their families to attend college.
"The Handmaid's Tale meets WWII in Cradles of the Reich, which explores the little-known history of Hitler's Lebensborn program and its goal of mass-breeding racially fit babies for the master race. Three German women are destined to collide at a Bavarian breeding home: a blond beauty desperately concealing her unborn child's Jewish heritage, a Nazi official's fanatical young mistress, and a nurse determined to keep her head down in the home's increasingly sinister program of forced adoptions, queasy eugenics, and racial cleansing. Jennifer Coburn's debut historical novel is adept, unforgettable, and brilliantly unsettling!" — Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Rose Code
"I loved Cradles of the Reich, Jennifer Coburn's fascinating and incredibly well-researched look at this little-known Nazi breeding program and three women whose lives intersect there. Don't miss this wonderful historical fiction debut!" — Martha Hall Kelly, New York Times bestselling author of The Lilac Girls and Sunflower Sisters
"Cradles of the Reich masterfully delves into the warped underbelly of the Nazi's Lebensborn Program for racial engineering. With grace and a deft hand, Jennifer Coburn creates indelible female characters that leave us heart torn. This book kept me breathless from chapter to chapter. I couldn't put it down until the final heroic page." — Sarah McCoy, New York Times bestselling author of Mustique Island
"The hopes and dreams of three women collide in this shocking story about a little-known Nazi breeding home in Bavaria. Jennifer Coburn has written a brave and highly original novel; fans of historical fiction will find it compelling—and indeed essential—reading." — Kitty Zeldis, author of Not Our Kind
"A deep well of discussion topics for book-club readers." — Kirkus