Max is a fascinating fictionalisation of a very real piece of World War II history.
The title character is the first child born in the Lebensborn program, a terrifying Nazi eugenics initiative to create perfect Aryan children. We are first introduced to Max before he is born, and he is already determined to be a perfect Nazi, with plans to be born on Hitler’s birthday.
Although it was a little strange to have the story narrated by a newborn, the content was so interesting that I didn’t really notice the oddity while I was immersed in the story. We follow Max from his birth until the end of the war, when he is almost seven.
Provocative and confronting, Max raised a plethora of important questions about human morality. It also highlighted the evils done to German women and children, as well as the Jewish and Polish populations, during WWII.
by Sarah Cohen-Scali
When you first meet Max it’s 1936, in Bavaria, and he’s still a baby inside his blonde, blue-eyed mother. Utterly indoctrinated in the Nazi ideology, Max will address you and tell you his story until 1945—his destiny as an exceptional being, the prototype of the ‘Lebensborn’ (Fountains of Life) program, designed to produce perfect specimens of the Aryan race to regenerate the Reich. But when Max meets Lukas, a young Polish boy who resembles him but who rebels against the Nazi system, cracks starts to appear in Max’s convictions…
Max is compulsive reading. Against all your instincts to despise what Max tells you, about his childish cruelty, his attempts to eliminate any aspect of weakness … Read More
About the Contributor
Anastasia Hadjidemetri is the former editor of The Booktopian and star of Booktopia's weekly YouTube show, Booked with Anastasia. A big reader and lover of books, Anastasia relishes the opportunity to bring you all the latest news from the world of books.