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The War of Our Childhood : Memories of World War II - Wolfgang W. E. Samuel

The War of Our Childhood

Memories of World War II

Hardcover Published: 18th May 2012
ISBN: 9781578064823
Number Of Pages: 376

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One survivor tells of the fire-bombing of Dresden. Another recounts the pervasive fear of marauding Russian and Czech bandits raping and killing. Children recall fathers who were only photographs and mothers who were saviors and heroes.

These are typical in the stories collected in The War of Our Childhood: Memories of World War II. For this book Wolfgang W. E. Samuel, a childhood refugee himself after the fall of Nazi Germany, interviewed twenty-seven men and women who as children--by chance and sheer resilience--survived Allied bombs, invading armies, hunger, and chaos.

""Our eyes carried no hate, only recognition of what was,"" Samuel writes of his childhood. ""Peace was an abstraction. The world we Kinder knew nearly always had the word 'war' appended to it.""Samuel's heartfelt narratives from these innocent survivors are invariably riveting and often terrifying. Each engrossing story has perilous and tragic moments--school children in Leuna who are sent home during an air raid but are strafed as moving targets; fathers who exist only as distant figures, returning to their families long after the war--or not at all; mothers who are raped and tortured; families who are forced into a seemingly endless relocation that replicates the terrors of war itself. In capturing such experiences from nearly every region of Germany and involving people of every socio-economic class, this is a collection of unique memories, but each account contributes to a cumulative understanding of the war that is more personal than strategic surveys and histories.

For Samuel and the survivors he interviewed, agony and fright were part of everyday life, just as were play, wondrous experience, and above all perseverance.

""My focus,"" Samuel writes, ""is on the astounding ability of a generation of German children to emerge from debilitating circumstances as sane and productive human beings.""

"All these years later the stories of the twenty-seven children, now in their senior years, ring with a truth and simplicity that contrast with the horror of what they say--seeing fathers for the last time; watching the fire-bombing of Dresden; dodging marauding Russian and Czech bandits robbing, raping, and killing; being strafed during air raids and endless relocations."

--The Tulsa World

"The strength of The War of Our Childhood is that it is a reminder, if one is needed, that the effects of conflict on the next generation are deeply and permanently felt. For that reason it should be read, lest we forget."

--Washington Post Book World

Preface and Acknowledgmentsp. xi
War from the Skyp. 3
Dresden, Saxonyp. 6
Kassel, Hessep. 17
Wurzburg, Bavariap. 26
Leuna, Saxonyp. 34
Arneburg, Saxony-Anhaltp. 53
Berlinp. 67
Kaiserslautern, Rhineland-Palatinatep. 80
Koln, Northrhine-Westfaliap. 91
Westerburg, Rhineland-Palatinatep. 101
Remagen, Rhineland-Palatinatep. 112
War on the Groundp. 127
Landau, Lower Silesia (Poland)p. 130
Gut Borowki, Wartheland (Poland)p. 148
Domnau, East Prussia (Poland)p. 161
Konigsberg, East Prussia (Russia)p. 177
Ortelsburg, East Prussia (Poland)p. 194
Stuhm, East Prussia (Poland)p. 206
Weisstein, Upper Silesia (Poland)p. 223
Posen, Wartheland (Poland)p. 238
Potsdam, Brandenburgp. 250
Berlinp. 263
Wuppertal, Northrhine-Westfaliap. 278
Wollup, Brandenburgp. 285
Other Dimensions of Warp. 299
Komotau, Czech Republicp. 302
Prague, Czech Republicp. 314
Eilenburg, Saxony-Anhaltp. 329
Zwickau, Saxonyp. 335
Epiloguep. 343
Explanation of Termsp. 349
Indexp. 353
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781578064823
ISBN-10: 1578064821
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 376
Published: 18th May 2012
Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 3.05
Weight (kg): 0.75