A Childhood Memoir: A Double Childhood

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AuthorHouse, Sep 19, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 296 pages

The stomping of black-booted automatons; the drums beating in tune to murderous chants of hatred a retentive memory of a little girl has captured it all. Her early, serene Munich childhood wiped out: a school in flame, a journey alone to England ahead.

Gone is the school she loved. Parted from her adored father with whom she endured prison and worse. Stored away safely is her memory of GRAF ZEPPELIN, the hideous faces of the Nazi leaders and her love of Munich. KINDERTRANSPORT to England aged nine without friend or language leaves her traumatised unused as she is to cope with caring for herself. Stays at holiday camps; with a kind, generous Jewish family in London, then it is off once more with Jewish schoolchildren to Bedfordshire weeks before WW2.

A love affair begins with the English country-side and its animal inhabitants. Evacuated to an ancient farm house with no amenities whatever, where she is joined by her pious old grandmother, she settles down to school-life in this strictly orthodox school, new friends all refugees.

Through her father, a well-known poet, she discovers what is happening to Jews in Europe early on and her faith is shattered.

A contrasting tale of two childhoods, one recalling a deceptively idyllic beginning; the other an awakening in a strange but charitable land and the forever haunting realisation of what has been done to her people. This is a unique portrait of childhood.

 

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Found it very interesting. Of great interest to me as my father was mentioned in the book. He did not mention much about the Kindertransport so the book was of personal interest to myself.
Anthony N

Selected pages

Contents

Chapter One AN INTRODUCTION
1
Chapter Two
8
Chapter Three
23
Chapter Four
40
Chapter Five
57
Chapter Six
75
Chapter Seven
91
Chapter Eight
98
Chapter Eleven
149
Chapter Twelve
171
Chapter Thirteen
187
Chapter Fourteen
202
Chapter Fifteen
222
Chapter Sixteen
245
Chapter Seventeen
259
EPILOGUE
275

Chapter Nine
117
Chapter Ten
127

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About the author (2011)

Melanie Lowy is the author of the novel MARTHAS BOOK OF SONG. Her novel NEMESIS is due to be published later this year. She has published poetry, reviews and articles in several papers and lectured for seven years annually at Oxford on her father JOSEF HILLEL LEVYS Yiddish poetry. She has ghosted several novels for a well-known surgeon. She now lives in the English village to which she was first evacuated at the age of ten, months before World War Two. Melanie has been a vegetarian for over fifty years.

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