The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow

By , Fort Wayne, IN

In 2011, Robert Sharenow published the masterpiece titled The Berlin Boxing Club, a book based around teen boy Karl Stern in early World War 2 Berlin. When I first picked up this book, I wasn’t expecting much. Boy, was I wrong.

The Berlin Boxing Club is the one book that really got me interested in the daily life of Germans in World War 2 and the Holocaust. In the book, Karl Stern starts out as a scrawny Jewish boy. One day, he is beaten by his anti-Semitic classmates. He comes home and helps his father sell paintings during a gathering- during the gathering, however, Karl is thrown a curveball. Boxing superstar Max Schmeling shows up as a friend of Karl’s father! Max, his wife, and the Sterns meet after the art show to discuss an underground sale of an illegal piece of art. During this gathering, Max notices that Karl has been beaten. He offers Karl lessons in exchange for a meeting, and Karl accepts, opening a new chapter of Karl’s life.

The Berlin Boxing Club is a fantastic book that engrossed me and the classmates I recommended this book to. It is eloquently written and perfectly timed. The novel has both gleeful and depressing moments, truly picking up the aura of German life in the 1930s.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book to any reader. The Berlin Boxing Club is far and away my favorite book, and I feel that this could be your favorite book, too.






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