German Boy: A Refugee's Story (Google eBook)
Univ. Press of Mississippi, Sep 18, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 375 pages
What was the experience of war for a child in bombed and ravaged Germany? In this memoir, the voice of innocence is heard.
"This is great stuff," exclaims Stephen E. Ambrose.
"I love this book."
In this gripping account, a boy and his mother are wrenched from their tranquil lives to forge a path through the storm of war and the rubble of its aftermath. In the past there has been a spectrum of books and films that share other German World War II experiences. However, told from the perspective of a ten-year-old, this book is rare. The boy and his mother must prevail over hunger and despair, or die.
In the Third Reich, young Wolfgang Samuel and his family are content but alone. The father, a Luftwaffe officer, is away fighting the Allies in the West. In 1945 as Berlin and nearby communities crumble, young Wolfgang, his mother Hedy, and little sister Ingrid flee the advancing Russian army. They have no inkling of the chaos ahead. In Strasburg, a small town north of Berlin where they find refuge, Wolfgang begins to comprehend the evils the Nazi regime brought to Germany. As the Reich collapses, mother, son, and daughter flee again just ahead of the Russian charge.
In the chaos of defeat they struggle to find food and shelter. Death stalks the primitive camps that are their temporary havens, and the child becomes the family provider. Under the crushing responsibility, Wolfgang becomes his mother's and sister's mainstay. When they return to Strasburg, the Communists in control are as brutal as the Nazis. In the violent atmosphere of arbitrary arrest, rape, hunger, and fear, the boy and his mother persist. Pursued by Communist police through a fierce blizzard, they escape to the West, but even in the English zone, the constant search for food, warmth, and shelter dominates their lives, and the mother's sacrifices become the boy's nightmares.
Although this is a time of deepest despair, Wolfgang hangs on to the thinnest thread of hope. In June 1948 with the arrival of the Americans flying the Berlin Airlift, Wolfgang begins a new journey.
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Review: German Boy: A Child in WarUser Review - Julie - Goodreads
This memoir was written by a male about the years he was a young man right before the end of WWII to 1949 in Germany. It was interesting yet dispassionate. A story of how neither side really wins a war. Read full review
Review: German Boy: A Child in WarUser Review - Joe Savage - Goodreads
Enjoyable tale of young English boy growing up in South Africa during the period of WWII. Gives a sense of physical features of land, various peoples interacting, some of the worst and some of the ... Read full review
Chapter 3 The Train
Chapter 4 161 Schönhauser Allee Berlin
Chapter 5 A Town Called Strasburg
Chapter 6 A Brave German Soldier
Chapter 7 The Face of Death
Chapter 8 Surrender
Chapter 13 A Winter Nightmare
Chapter 14 Summer 1946
Chapter 15 Escape to the West
Chapter 16 The Trauen Barracks
Chapter 17 Refugee Life
Chapter 18 Winter of Despair
Chapter 19 Return of the Americans
Chapter 20 Sergeant Leo Ferguson
Chapter 9 The Americans
Chapter 10 The Russians
Chapter 11 Messenger of Death
Chapter 12 The List
Chapter 21 Bakers Apprentice
Chapter 22 Looking West