Trapped In Hitler’s Web, an emotional, highly suspenseful story based on true events, explores the lesser-known Ukrainian experience of World War 2.

In her attempt to hide in plain sight by joining one of Hitler’s work farms in Austria, Maria learns that the poster promising money for her labor was a big lie. However, she soon discovers how good she has it, when she realizes the farm is not run by Nazi supporters, but the Hubers, who are simply Aryan workers doing what they’ve been ordered to do by the Reich.

Frau Huber is sympathetic to Maria’s plight as a Slav, a “subhuman” in the Nazi hierarchy of human life – worth more than a Jew, but barely. She allows Maria to sneak extra potatoes to ward off her hunger, and even finds a way for Maria to travel to Salzburg in an effort to find out what has become of Maria’s Jewish friend.

However, Frau Huber’s daughter, Sophie, has been entirely brainwashed by the ideology of the Hitler Youth, and has no use for Maria. Sophie doesn’t even call her own mother, ‘Mother,’ but addresses her as Frau Huber like everyone else, to demonstrate that her allegiance had transferred from family to State.

Trapped In Hitler’s Web by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, an author from our old home town, is full of such small but important details that collectively worked together to make the 1930s and 40s one of the ugliest times of the last century.

This story paints a picture of how oppressive wicked rulers are, even to those who are in alignment with their beliefs. It reminded me of Proverbs 29:2 “….when the wicked rule, the people mourn.”

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the wicked also suffer when wickedness reigns; Trapped In Hitler’s Web reminds us that no one wins when evil triumphs.

I would recommend this book as a family read aloud, or for children ages 9-14.