Samuel, Wolfgang

Title: "German Boy: A Child in War"
Author: Wolfgang W. E. Samuel
Publisher: First Broadway Books, Random House, Inc., 1540 Broadway, New York, NY 10036
ISBN: 0-7679-08244
Comments: I really enjoyed this book, though perhaps "enjoyed" is the wrong word, based on what the author and his mother had to endure; probably "rivetting" would be better. I found it similar to "Weeds Like Us" by Gunter Nitsch which I also rated highly. Towards the end of the book is one paragraph, where the author writes about how he views his mother in light of what she has gone through to look after herself, her daughter and son, where I found tears welling up in my eyes (this being whilst reading it in the works canteen!). I was so engrossed in "German Boy" because, like Gunter Nitsch's book, I found myself comparing what I was going through as a young boy in England in the late 1950s with what the two authors experienced in Germany in the late 1940s and it was nothing like what these two German boys where faced with!


Title: "The War of Our Childhood: Memories of World War II"
Author: Wolfgang W. E. Samuel
Publisher: University Press Of Mississippi
ISBN: 1-57806-482-1
Comments: The recollections of these men and women who were children during the period that they are recounting are totally absorbing. The words of Siegrid Mayer are of particular significance: "I don't have children myself and the young people I have contact with have little interest in my past, in the life I lived as a young child. Germany is so different today. The young people seem to believe that we make up such stories when they hear them." I find it very sad if this is indeed the case. To me it re-inforces my belief that the stories need to be told to children and young people, in Germany and England especially; this is what actually happened!

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