Opa Nobody

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U of Nebraska Press, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 358 pages
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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.

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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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Opa Nobody

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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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Contents

The Intuition of History
1
Sweet Heinrich
19
We Are All Germans Now
33
Make It New
55
The Promise of Power
73
A Lash of the Whip
113
Unions
145
The FŘhrers Peace
185
The Cataclysm
241
My Mother Remembers Roses
285
Buschmann Family Tree
341
Political and Family Chronology
343
Bibliography
357
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About the author (2008)

Sonya Huber is an assistant professor in the Department of Writing and Linguistics at Georgia Southern University. She is the author of many short stories, essays, and poems.

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