by Dorothea Shefer-Vanson
What was it like to live through the most tumultuous period in recent European history?
History comes alive!
What was it like to live through the most tumultuous period in recent European history? This book shows how an ordinary German family, the van Dornbachs, goes from prosperity to poverty as Hitler and the Nazi party come to dominate Germany. Beautiful young Grethe leaves for Amsterdam and Paris to live the Bohemian life. Brilliant young Siegfried seeks business success in Kentucky and Shanghai, but comes to a tragic end. Their parents and younger brother, left in Germany, do their best to try to survive the storm.
We experience life in the tobacco industry of Kentucky in the 1920s, see how the student radicals of Paris coped with the movements sweeping through Europe in those years, and how the political and economic events of the 1930s and 1940s devastated everyday life. The shadow that was cast over the whole of Europe affected each member of the Dornbach family in a different way.
Ë?Ë?Ë? An authentic account
Based on and inspired by authentic documents and correspondence brought out of Germany by the author’s father just after Kristallnacht, the pogrom of November 1938, the book provides a searing personalized account of the events of that period.
Ë?Ë?Ë? A happy ending?
Chapters near the end of the book depict life in the south of France under German occupation. As the book ends we find ourselves in wartime London, in a hostel for refugee children who have been able to escape from Europe on a Kindertransport train. The children are in turn affected by the trauma they have undergone having been obliged to leave their homes and families, not knowing if they will ever see them again. The story of one particular child depicts the unique way he copes with his experiences. An epilogue describes subsequent events and what eventually became of the various protagonists.
Ë?Ë?Ë? A vivid account
Anyone who is interested in history, and likes a vivid account of what it was like to live through it, should read this book.
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