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Hadamar -The House of Shudders

In Nazi Germany, Ingrid was considered a bastard, a shame, a national disgrace. Her sin: being born black.

(26 customer reviews)
Authors: Jason K. Foster
Young Adult, World War II, History
C Format

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A bastard, a shame, a national disgrace.

Nazi Germany is ruled by Hitler’s barbaric policies of racial cleansing. Ingrid Marchand’s only sin was to be born black.

Horrifying institutions like Hadamar are where the undesirables – including the mentally and physically disabled and children – are systematically tortured, gassed and executed. It is where Ingrid is humiliated and brutalised and will encounter a depth of hatred the world has never seen before.

On the brink of starvation, can Ingrid survive the horrors of her incarceration and help bring her tormentors to justice?

Hadamar is a gripping tale of survival in a world of hatred, horror and insanity.

Based on true events.


Jason K. Foster

Jason K. Foster

Jason Foster is an author, poet, journalist and History teacher at Jamison High School in Sydney’s western suburbs. He holds a Masters Degree in History and is currently studying a Diploma in Languages (Spanish). He has taught in Australia, the United Kingdom, Spain and Argentina. He has been published in American History magazines, Australian travel […]

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26 reviews for Hadamar -The House of Shudders

  1. What a great read! While the story makes for interesting and absorbing reading, I find its true value in the way the author left the reader to contemplate and condone what happened at Hadamar. Being of German background myself I appreciate how well the book was researched as I could find many familiarities to my childhood and German customs, as well as places mentioned in the book. I believe it would be a great tool not only for High School English Teachers, but it could lead to discussions in many more subjects.

  2. Such an incredible book. Normally i wouldnt pick it up, but knowing Jason through my Son’s, and an avid reader, i decided to give it a go.
    He has captured the essense of hate, evil, and degregation.
    My heart ached for this girl.
    Truths nobody should endure.

  3. I couldn’t put this book down. Ingrid’s tragic story resonates long after the final page.

  4. 5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling reading The author provides amazing insight into a time in history that should never be forgotten. He captures a very dark part of humanity and broadens our understanding of the far reaching effects that fear and ignorance can have on ordinary people when manipulated by those who abuse positions of power.

  5. I was ‘there’ from the moment I opened Jason Fosters book. Well done. I’ve been a fan of Jasons true crime books. What an amazing story. I feel like my eyes have been opened.

  6. I bought this book for my son – after he read it (over a weekend) – I thought I’d see why he liked it so much. I couldn’t put it down. I thought I was quite knowledgeable on WWII and the Nazi Regime. Apparently not. A valuable book. A terrific read and one that really leaves your brain buzzing. thank you Jason.

  7. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There is so much that went on during Hitlers rule that most people are not aware of. This book brings some of these horrors to light. I hope the people who read this book realise as I did that there were also a lot of good Germans who suffered from choices made by others. I would recommend this book if you like a good read.

  8. This book is amazing, I read this book in less then 24 hours. It is truly something to behold

  9. This particular story of character strength through oppression is one that must be read

  10. I read this book in time record ! The description of the events and different scenarios was impressive and so well written that made me feel like I was there as an expectator. I enjoyed seeing a female protagonist as the center of a story who saw horrors and atrocities that no child or teenager should never have to witness. Ingrid is the real example of ” what does not kill you make you stronger ” and her fight to survive was truly inspiring. The best was the end that illustrates just how Justice is in real life – neither fair nor forthcoming. This dark period of History should never be forgotten and it was well told by the author and I would love to see this story told through a movie. it is my first book by Jason K.Foster and it won’t be the last. I will definitely be reading his other 3 books. Thank you Jason for sharing through the eyes of this brave protagonist the recollection of one of, or if not, the worst crime against Humanity in our History.

  11. Incredibly well researched and historical account of one of Nazi Germany’s less known atrocities.

  12. A lesser known piece of Nazi history
    This book took me through a wide range of emotions, from outrage to hope, from hope to frustration. If you liked to read about what happened at various concentration camps, Auschwitz, Dachau, Sobibor, Treblinka, if you liked Anne Frank’s Diary, you’ll like this book too. The story is told as viewed through the eyes of a young girl, Ingrid Marchand, that’s why it reminded me of Anne Frank’s Diary, although the stories of the two girls are very different. It’s a captivating book, it transports you to those times and you live with Ingrid step by step. There are times when you want to be in the story to desperately try to change its outcome.

  13. Amazon Review
    Gripping from start to finish…
    Being ignorant of the story of Hadamar, I was intrigued by the context.
    A truly engaging story. The narrative is powerfully strong with characters that you could believe in. The historical background is truly shocking and disturbing and a reminder of how strong and resilient humans can be in their quest to overcome such atrocities.
    A brilliant insight into Nazi Germany and the destruction that they caused, but also a powerful story of love and the power of the human spirit.
    Perfect reading for teenagers who would enjoy the narrative and the historical backdrop.

  14. This is, without doubt, a harrowing read. No matter how many things we have already read about the Holocaust, reading yet another sorry story is always a heart-breaking experience. Yet, Foster has described every single fact in detail, but without falling into the trap of morbid clichés. Foster is a historian, and that shows. It is clear that he carried out thorough research before writing this novel. The world must know what happened, the extermination of mixed race children included.

  15. I was struck by the relationship between Ingrid and Johan. I was pleased that even Nazi soldiers could look upon these children as real children. However, I was amazed by just how brainwashed people could become by the Nazi propaganda. Reading this book made me think of my own daughters. I strongly empathised with Ingrid’s mother, Angelika. I couldn’t stop thinking about how furious I would be if anyone took my daughters from me and what was done to Ingrid was done to them. Reading this book really brought home the depths of the hatred the Nazis had for those who were different. Hadamar would also make a great addition to any school reading list.

  16. I found Hadamar a very interesting read with many facts about World War II of which I had no knowledge. It made me question ideas of justice and the appropriate punishments for perpetrators of these crimes. Being written from a young girl’s perspective was extremely effective and will surely strike a chord with teenage readers (older ones as well). It will shock younger readers but they need to be made aware of the atrocities that were committed and their effects on the survivors. It’s too easy to think, ‘it could never happen again.’

  17. A Lesser Known Piece of Nazi History.

    This book took me through a wide range of emotions, from outrage to hope, from hope to frustration. The story is told as viewed through the eyes of a young girl. It’s a captivating book, it transports you to those times and you live with Ingrid step by step. There are times when you want to be in the story to desperately try to change its outcome.

  18. Goodreads review…
    This novel was an incredibly emotional read which sheds light on the happenings of Hadamar during the devastating WWII.
    I have never before heard of Hadamar until I read this book and am grateful that this story has been released. These stories are full of the memories of those lives that have been lost, full of blood, sweat, heartbreak, and tears. A devastating period in history that we need to keep in our memories so that those lives lost will not be forgotten, and so that history doesn’t repeat.

    Ingrid is such a strong, resilient, brave human that though she has been put through hell, she came back stronger than ever to ensure she lives for all.
    The way Ingrid cares for all those around her and tries to save everyone shows what an amazing soul she has. One that no Nazi that shamed her for her race, could ever have.
    Though Hadamar was said to be one of the lesser evils compared to the other camps, my skin crawled with disgust and disgrace at these humans actions. The way they deemed it ok to play god on disabled people (children and adults said to be not worthy of life) and took lives for that reason makes my heart break in to many pieces.

    The way the author writes is truly remarkable allowing me to see all before my very eyes as if coming from the pages of the book I read from. His way of sharing the true story was with respect and love, one that will stay in my memory and heart for a long while.

    I highly recommend this amazing novel, an absolute must read!!

  19. Amazon Review…
    Hadamar: The House of Shudders is based on true events that happened during the World War II in Nazi Germany. Readers are introduced to Ingrid, a young teenager of African descent. She is taken from her mother and sent to Hadamar. Hadamar was an institution that the Nazis used to send children and those with mental and physical disabilities. This place was definitely a house of shudders and a house of horrors. People were tortured, starved and killed. Ingrid does what it takes to survive in this horrific place. I loved Ingrid from the start and had to keep reading to find out if she was able to escape or not. I really wanted to root for her, however, my mind about her sort of changed when she did something unthinkable and unforgiveable. I was completely disgusted with her behavior. Even though I had a hard time understanding her, I had to remind myself that it was a different time and I do not know how things would be for me if I was in that situation.
    Hadamar: The House of Shudders is a powerful read and not those who are wanting to read something light. It is sad, dark and needs to be read slowly to grasp the whole story. It is hard to believe these events in pretty recent history and we all should never forget.
    I highly recommend Hadamar: The House of Shudders and am giving it five plus stars.
    I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.

  20. Hadamar was a tough book to read. It’s not that it was poorly written, because it wasn’t. It was vivid, and compelling. However, the subject matter is pretty dark, given that the book is set in a hospital the Nazis created in order to kill those people (children and adults, though a lot of children) that they felt were not proper Germans, or were disabled or wrong. Despite the dark subject matter, the book was compelling, and especially the protagonist, Ingrid. Ingrid is of mixed race, with a white German mother and a black French father. At first, her father is taken away, and then she is sterilized. That’d be enough, but then the Nazis take her away from her mother and move her to Hadamar. The book covers until the end of the war, so there is a lot of historical detail, and a lot to take in. There is also a decent resolution, which I wasn’t certain of, given the subject matter. This was well worth the read. I expect it would be of special interest to those studying WWII, or other subjects attached to it. I’d like to read other books by this author as their writing is strong and I expect they would do well no matter what their subject.

  21. Wow, this book has really rattled me. I thought I knew how awful Nazi Germany was, and I thought I knew of all of the atrocities the Nazis committed. But Hadamar tells of a part of Nazi history that seems to have been partly forgotten. Hadamar was a real institution where mentally and physically disabled children were brought to be systematically murdered, because they couldn’t serve the Reich in any productive manner. Black children were also brought here to aide with the ‘ethnic cleansing’ that Hitler ordered. I had not been aware that Nazis rounded up and killed black people just as they did the Jewish people, and I had also not realised that the Nazis rounded up the disabled children and killed them too. These atrocities are just shocking, so on one hand I think this is a really important book that more people should know about, but on the other hand it’s not an ‘enjoyable’ read, and it is emotionally tough and harrowing.
    The writing was so powerful, and told from the perspective of Ingrid, a young black girl, the story really had me empathising with her. There was a part of the plot line that felt a little contrived to me, but other than that the story felt genuine and emotional, and I really did appreciate learning about this part of history.
    If you enjoy learning more about WWII, I would highly recommend this powerful account of a part of Nazi history that is not as well known.

  22. I went to high school in the 1990s, and every year, we did something on the Holocaust. Just about every story looked at the Jews and how they were treated. Around year 8, I read The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, and wanted to know more about the Christians who had helped the Jews, and others who were deemed ‘undesirable’, such as the gypsies, homosexuals, disabled, and so on, but there were limited books available, and none that we were given to study.
    Imagine my reaction when I discovered Hadamar: the house of shudders. This is the sort of book I had been looking for as a teenager. It is a book that I believe students should study at high school along with books about the Jews during World War 2.
    This is a tale about Ingrid, a black girl who is otherwise healthy and intelligent, who is taken and placed in Hadamar for the duration of the war. It follows her journey of survival, and the tug of war between trying to survive and doing what is right.
    It also gives an insight into what German children were taught in school. I read those parts to my 17 year old son and he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. I spoke with the author and these scenes are based on actual lessons!
    A well written book that shines a light on some of the atrocities of World War 2 that we rarely hear from. A book that should be in school libraries everywhere.

  23. Good evening. Many thanks 🙂 Useful book!.

  24. Highly recommended. This story is based on real events. The author has used primary sources to create a compelling and horrifying story that explains in vivid detail the phrase: Lebenunswerte Leben (life unworthy of life). The story portrays the ways physicians (authorised by Hitler) selected patients deemed incurably sick and administered to them a “mercy death” or implemented sterilisation procedures. Hadamar was, and is, a hospital in Germany where the euthanasia programme was implemented during World War II.
    So, while the language level is well suited to the young adult reader, this is not easy to read. The scale of the mass murder is difficult to comprehend. Told through the eyes of a child, Ingrid, we see the actions of the Gestapo in segregating children of mixed race, those with disabilities and those that were ill. On arrival at Hadamar Ingrid experiences the cruelty and evil that are enacted each day, such as invitations to picnics that end in death. While the story is related without hyperbole – the events are no less harrowing.
    Justice and revenge are themes that recur throughout the book. Ingrid provides assistance to the Americans, anxious to have the staff answer for their crimes. The trials provide the reader an opportunity to hear the staff outline their defence for their actions, and to further understand Ingrid’s reflections on her time in Hadamar (including her actions).
    This novel would be a powerful text in Year 10. It humanises the history of the atrocities instigated by Hitler and allows the student to consider the broader view. It is an opportunity for the reader to remember the past and inspires the reader to question.
    Teacher notes are available.
    Linda Guthrie

  25. Brilliant book!
    By Rhi from Wollongong

    I thought i knew a lot about the evil doings of hitlers ruling. I was so wrong. This book had me gasping, sobbing, smiling and just taken aback by the story of one individual, making me think of the hundreds of thousands of stories that will forever go untold and unheard. The story takes you on a horrific journey of a strong young lady at hadamar and i honestly didnt see the ending being the way it was so i was very satisfied. Its women like Ingrid who give me strength on hard days and writers like Jason who brings light to her story in such a incredible way that makes me want to read what he writes next asap! Amazing.

  26. To be quite honest, this one cut me to the quick. My heart literally hurt for Ingrid as she was tortured, tormented, and virtually killed in every way possible without actually taking her life. It wasn’t even what they did to her that fractured her soul, but the loss of those she cared for time and time again…and yet she still had this un-conquerable inner strength that no amount of hatred could dim the light of. She was smart, loyal, kind hearted and still the only thing people saw was the color of her skin…their loss.

    It was so hard to read about the atrocities that man committed against man, but I must tip my hat to the author for providing the human side to a few of those that were on the other side of good. He was able to make readers realize that not all who fight do so with evil in their hearts. Sometimes they are caught up in the circumstances. Sometimes they aren’t given all the facts or they’re so twisted, the truth within them can’t be fully recognized. He also made sure that our beloved Ingrid was not without her flaws, as harshly revealed in full by the actions she took after the indiscretion she believed she had witnessed committed against her by someone she called friend. I can’t say I blame her, it was a gut reaction, but it does speak to her being human as well.

    All in all, a moving novel set in a period of history we’d rather forget, but is best remembered so we don’t repeat the same mistakes. Looking at today’s world, I can’t say that it’d take much of a stretch of the imagination to even contemplate, which is certainly a rather frightening place to be.

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