19 January, 2010

Auf Wiedersehen by Christa Holder Ocker Review and Giveaway


 ". . . dramatic, tender, funny, frightening, earthy, quirky, wise and heart-warming. The tale of young Christa and her family as they leave a comfortable home to become penniless immigrants in their quest to survive the collapse of the Third Reich and flee the horrors that it has unleashed, opens up to universal themes of suffering, loss, love and hope." from Goodreads 

Auf Wiedershen by Christa Holder Ocker:
World War II Through The Eyes Of A German Girl tells the poignant true story of a girl(Christa), whose father (Vati) is serving in the German Army and the mother (Mutti) who is left behind to take care of Christa and  her older sister Rosel. Mutti is a hard working and very proud woman who has nothing good to say about the Nazis and Hitler in particular. The story takes place more towards the end of the war in Gorlitz, Germany. Mutti and her family, including a neighbor, Frau Omichen and her son Gunter, are evacuated from the only home they have known where they had lived a peaceful, comfortable life. They now have to say auf Wiedersehen, thus the title, to all they know and hold dear. They leave their home without money and only what they can wear and a few valuables which they need to sell to eat and have a place to live.
The story takes place over a six year period telling the struggle of this family trying to live as normal a life as possible under sometimes deplorable circumstances. When Vati finally finds his family after the war, he and Mutti decide that they will go to America. With the assistance of an old friend of Mutti's, that is what they do but they need to get across Russian checkpoints first which was not an easy task.
In short chapters the author is able to put across successfully to the reader the story of her young years, the daily struggles and sometimes good times that her very strong family lives in during the aftermath of this war. She describes the people they meet on this journey, including other family members that they find. There are good times and little celebrations that enable this family to stick together no matter the circumstances.
I enjoyed the story very much, it reminded me a bit of The Diary of Anne Frank. The hard times were told in such a way as to not make a depressing time for the German people hard to read. During a war story we more often than not hear the American side of the hardships of war and we do not often get the chance to read about how this war affected the German people. The story only touched briefly on the concentration camps because this family was not in one and I think that to keep the innocence of the main character it was not really part of their story.
This is a must read if the history of WWII is interesting to you.

I received this book as a complimentary copy from Melissa at Stray Dog Media for review. Thanks Melissa!

Giveaway will end February 5th, 2010
to enter, US only you must do the following:

Be or become a follower of my blogs CelticLady's Reviews and Celticladysramblings
Post giveaway on your blog or twitter and come back and let me know...
That's it!! Good Luck!





14 comments:

  1. Hello I hope you get to read lots of books in your time off.

    Please enter me.

    Chocolate and Croissants at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm not a huge fan of WWII, but I think this would be a good book. Just like The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is probably an excellent book (as was the movie), but I'd probably read this one.

    ReplyDelete
  3. this sounds like it would be very interesting..

    please enter me, i just became a follower of both your blogs.

    kaylajohnson3969@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  4. This sounds really good! Great post!

    ajpohren@iowatelecom.net

    ReplyDelete
  5. This sounds wonderful. Please enter me. I am follower.

    Zia
    ziaria(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I posted the contest on my sidebar: www.ziarias.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. PLEASE ENTER ME!: Became a fan of both blogs and posted the contest on blog.
    http://cookingwithsammy.blogspot.com/

    Email:Fourevermandm@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Please enter me in this giveaway

    madeleine444@gmail.com

    I am a follower

    ReplyDelete
  9. Please enter me in this giveaway!

    I follow both blogs.

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah E

    ReplyDelete
  10. I tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/8491342498

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah E

    ReplyDelete
  11. I read a great deal of WWII history/historical fiction. My 13-year-old Polish mother was taken to Germany in an open truck, on her way home from school. There, she was forced to perform involuntary labor. She never saw her family again. I was born in a DP/Refugee camp in Coburg, Germany after the war.

    This is a book that is of great interest to me.
    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am a new follower of both blogs.

    Ooops, noticed I forgot to include my e-mail address in the previous comment.

    cyeates AT nycap DOT rr DOT rr com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love these kinds of books - I find them so inspiring! And I don't think we should ever forget that what happened happened to REAL people, not characters in a movie.
    Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
    Here's my Tweet: http://twitter.com/ASeaOfBooks/status/8642084341

    geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  14. And, I'm now following both of your blogs.

    geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete

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