It had come to this: breastfeeding her screaming three-month-old while sitting on the cigarette-scarred floor of a union hall, lying to her husband so she could attend yet another activist meeting, and otherwise actively self-destructing. Then Sonya Huber turned to her long-dead grandfather, the family ?nobody,? for help.
Huber?s search for meaning and resonance in the life of her grandfather Heina Buschman was unusual insofar as she knew him only through dismissive family stories: He let his wife die of neglect . . . he used his infant son as a decoy when transporting anti-Nazi literature in a baby carriage . . . and so the stories went. What she actually discovered was that, like his granddaughter, Heina Buschman was a committed and beleaguered activist whose story echoed her own. Huber?s research not only conjured her grandfather?s voice in answer to many of the questions that troubled her but also found in his story a source of personal sustenance for herself. Based on extensive research and documentation, this story of Heina Buschman offers a rare look into the heart of the ?average? socialist trying to survive the Nazis and rebuild a broken world. Alternating with his voice is Huber?s own, providing a rich and moving counterpoint that makes this deeply personal exploration of family, politics, and individual responsibility a story for all of us and for all time.
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In her first book, teacher and activist Huber reaches across time and space to find guidance and camaraderie in the reconstructed life of Heina Buschmann, the German grandfather she never met ... Read full review
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activist anarchist arms August Bebel baby Berlin bicycle coffee communists comrades crowd dark Dinah Lenney door Dorsten eyes face father feel fingers flyers Freikorps Friedchen front Gerhild German girl going grabbed hair hall hands head Heina felt Heinrich Buschmann Herr Hitler Hitler Youth imagine Inge Iron Front Jews Jupp Jupp's kids kitchen knew Kurt Schumacher later laughed leaders leaned Lina lips living looked Mama Marl meeting miners mother mouth Nazi Nazi Party newspaper night nodded opened organization Papa Heinrich Papa's paper party political pulled pushed Recklinghausen Red Army Reichstag rolled Rosa Luxemburg Rudi Ruhr seemed smell smile socialist youth soldier Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands stood stopped story street tell Third Reich told took truck turned Uncle Klaus union voice waiting walked window woman words workers yelled young youth group youth home