I read the unabridged English audio version of Bernhard Schlink’s The Reader while travelling to Saskatchewan. It was very well-produced and I found the book’s insights on relationships and human nature very insightful. The complex portrayal of how Germans can come to terms with their actions during the Holocaust was riveting – I was touched especially by the following passage describing the protagonist’s feelings toward a former Nazi concentration camp guard:
“I wanted simultaneously to understand Hanna’s crime and to condemn it. But it was too terrible for that. When I tried to understand it, I had the feeling I was failing to condemn it as it must be condemned. When I condemned it as it must be condemned, there was no room for understanding. … I could not resolve this. I wanted to pose myself both tasks – understanding and condemnation.”
This concept is further explored here.