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22gigantes.com - ***Winner 2017 'National Indie Excellence Award'*** ***An IWIC 'Hall of Fame Novel'*** "This book needs to join the ranks of the classic survivor stories of WWII such as Diary of Anne Frank and Man's Search for Meaning. It is truly that amazing!" InD'tale Magazine Spanning thirteen years from 1940 to 1953 and set against the epic panorama of WWII, author Annette Oppenlander's Surviving the Fatherland is a sweeping saga of family, love, and betrayal that illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the children's war. Surviving the Fatherland tells the true and heart-wrenching stories of Lilly and Günter struggling with the terror-filled reality of life in the Third Reich, each embarking on their own dangerous path toward survival, freedom, and ultimately each other. Based on the author's own family and anchored in historical facts, this story celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the strength of war children. When her father goes off to war, seven-year-old Lilly is left with an unkind mother who favors her brother and chooses to ignore the lecherous pedophile next door. A few blocks away, twelve-year-old Günter also looses his father to the draft and quickly takes charge of supplementing his family's ever-dwindling rations by any means necessary. As the war escalates and bombs begin to rain, Lilly and Günter's lives spiral out of control. Every day is a fight for survival. On a quest for firewood, Lilly encounters a dying soldier and steals her father's last suit to help the man escape. Barely sixteen, Günter ignores his draft call and embarks as a fugitive on a harrowing 47-day ordeal--always just one step away from execution. When at last the war ends, Günter grapples with his brother's severe PTSD and the fact that none of his classmates survived. Welcoming denazification, Lilly takes a desperate step to rid herself once and for all of her disgusting neighbor's grip. When Lilly and Günter meet in 1949, their love affair is like any other. Or so it seems. But old wounds and secrets have a way of rising to the surface once more.
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Most helpful customer reviews 76 of 78 people found the following review helpful. Surviving the Fatherland: A True Coming of Age is highly recommended by the reader of many WWII history books! By Scott Arquilla Surviving the Fatherland: A True Coming of Age is unlike any World War II book I have ever read. I consider myself fairly well read on WWII in Europe and I probably have read 45 lengthy books. I have a few favorites authors including Stephen Ambrose and Antony Beevor. All have been written from the point of view of the Allied Armies and little, if any, was said about the citizens of Nazi Germany who had to survive the war as well live through the recovery of a devastated nation. This book is written in the first person of two characters, Gunter and Lilly, who are rather young when the war starts. Each goes through years of poverty and almost starvation, trying too survive the horrors of their families being separated. The book takes the reader through the eyes of two young people who grow into adulthood through the war and post-war Germany. The stories are very realistic and very difficult to read given the bounty that is available to all in the U.S. SPOILER ALERT: The author had a first hand knowledge of the life these two young adults lead; she is their daughter. Much of what is contained in the book are first hand accounts recorded by her parents before they passed away. I was able to learn about survival as well as how many German citizens really felt about the Hitler regime; it strongly recommend this book to all desiring to glimpse into the lives of normal citizens on the wrong side of WWII. 0 of 0 people found the following review helpful. An amazing story. With all the talk of WWII (during ... By Margaret S. Crockett An amazing story. With all the talk of WWII (during and after) there wasn't much (if anything written about the hardships and starvation, and bombing, and, of course, the fear of the SS. I sent the author a note of congratulations. No matter how much I read, watch on the History Channel and Smithsonian, there is always something new to learn about this terrible blot on history. 0 of 0 people found the following review helpful. A Very Good Book By Anna R. This story gives a very touching picture of what the women and children left at home in Germany had to suffer during WWII. The husbands and fathers went to war and Hitler's government took everything else and left the women and children to fend for themselves. It tells of some happiness that came out of all the terrible tragedy. . See all 315 customer reviews...
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