Polish born Cyrla has been sent to live with her Aunt, Uncle and Cousin in Holland by her Jewish father in 1939.  Her family keep the secret of her heritage whilst the German Army occupy Holland and Cyrla lives in hiding, afraid that her neighbours suspect her.  Carrying the child of a German soldier, Cyrla’s cousin, Anneke is destined to move to a maternity home in Germany which houses the Lebensborn breeding programme.  Anneke’s death leaves Cyrla facing a dilemma – should she face her Uncle and his growing resentment, or should she take Anneke’s place at the maternity home?

Discussion questions

Please note that the questions below may act as spoilers for the book.

1.      does Cyrla resent her father sending her away?  Why did he send her to Holland, and not her step-brothers?

2.      do you think that Isaak could have done anything more to persuade Cyrla to escape Holland?

3.      why did those in charge of the Lebensborn separate non-German and German girls?

4.      when did you realise that Karl was not an ‘ordinary’ German soldier?

5.      why did Cyrla refuse to visit the sheds when Karl asked her to?

6.      do you feel that this story has a ‘happy ending’?

You can download this book activity.