When I Was German
By: Alan Wynzel
Length: 325 pages
Release date: Sep 10, 2013
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The relentless crash of falling bombs, blackened, ruined cities, and a bitter conflict between a German and a Jew. A World War II story? No. Instead it was the daily fare of a boy born in suburban New Jersey in 1964. His mother was a refugee from the wreckage of postwar Munich whose unforgiving wartime memories ran like blood into the ears of her young American son. His father, a New York City Jew, had little sympathy for the sufferings of Germans. They were, after all, the monsters that created Auschwitz.
The young boy struggled to survive and grow in this shell-shocked home. His mother, through love and guile, made him an ally in her war against his father. The boy escaped, for a while, into a fantasy world of comic books and war play where the Germans were the good guys and his father was the bad guy. But adolescence came, unforgiving as a rolling barrage. A lonesome night with a razor blade was the catalyst that led him to begin the hard road to maturity and freedom.
I was this boy. After my father’s death, I needed to understand my life with him and my mother, and the only way I could was to tell it as a story. When I Was German, my childhood memoir, was the result.