Book Review: auf Wiedersehen

By Darlene Fuchs on Email

auf Wiedersehen – World War II Through the Eyes of a German Girl

Book by Christa Holder Ocker ///  

Christa, an outgoing 7 year old, tells the story of her family’s evacuation during the collapse of the Third Reich towards the end of WWII and their eventual immigration to New Jersey.

It begins as her family is forced out of their comfortable home in Gorlitz, Germany, to become penniless immigrants fleeing from the advancing Red Army. They eventually are placed in a boardinghouse, in Apolda, during the evacuation. Here Christa tries to have a normal childhood surrounded by the many other homeless children.

Her heartwarming tale unfolds as she befriends a horse named Lottie and an American soldier who gives her Hershey bars, as well as, experiencing her first childhood crush. The universal themes of love, loss and hope are visible even as her family flees the horrors that surround them. Christa must say auf Wiedersehen, goodbye, each time her family moves and she realizes she may never see any of these friends again. Getting to America, the land of milk and honey, is her families ultimate goal.

This book, which is written more like a personal Journal through the eyes of a child, shows how life goes on even in the midst of war. Christa overhears conversations referring to the atrocities of WWII, which she cannot understand. Throughout the book, readers will gain insight into how much adults go through to keep the atrocities of war hidden from their children.

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Darlene Fuchs