Not I: Memoirs of a German Childhood
All too often we find ourselves blaming and shaming an entire culture for the actions of a select few. These views are often instilled throughout our childhood from an outdated societal mentality. Here is a German man’s story of World War II, the Nazi regime, and suffering because of his family’s political opposition, consisting of a father who stood on strong moral ground and risked everything to hold onto his views and his family. His story plays out in a Schindler’s List sort of way, seeing the horrors of WWII daily and wanting to make and be the change the people needed. In this case, author Joachim C. Fest found this change in his youth during his stay at a boarding school and during his time as a trusted and valuable prisoner of war with an American regiment.
This book is filled with the memories of a childhood born of literature, survival, and uncertainty from a German child’s experience. You get a deeper understanding of how parents tried to maintain normalcy and a sense of being, while at the same time trying to figure out the art of survival and where their next meal would be coming from. This was a remarkable memoir I highly recommend.
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