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German boy : a child in war

SAMUEL, WOLFGANG W. E.

Wolfgang was an average boy from an average place—at least so he thought. Sheltered in his native Sagan, Germany, he had remained oblivious to the ravages of war, but his world was turned upside down when at age 10 he became a refugee. The ensuing heart-wrenching first-hand account of a boy in the heart of Germany at the end of World War II describes a growing awareness of hunger, desperation, violence, prostitution, and abuse.

Just as the war had ended for the political powers involved, it had just begun taking its heaviest toll on the people of Germany. Certainly, accounts of the Jewish war experience, such as The Diary of Anne Frank, have become well known. However, this story shows that there was much suffering on the German side as well. I recommend this book to adults. It helps fill a gap in the narrative of the aftermath of WWII, much like A Thousand Shall Fall, Susi Hasel Mundy's the account of an Adventist German soldier, does for understanding the experiences of conscripted German Adventists.

An easy read, this book will make you realize that you have all that you need and should count your blessings. The way a boy's thoughts, perspectives, memories, hopes and dreams fill pages cover to cover made me both cry and laugh. Deep thinking as I read, I found inspiration for overcoming negative odds. If I had a chance, I would use it for a paper on WWII, especially a topic involving the results of war on children.

By Sheena Arocho
Submitted: April 10, 2013