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This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.Flight of Remembrance: A World War II Memoir of Love and Survival by Marina Dutzmann Kirsch
Published by Kirschstone Books on December 16th 2011
Source: reader's favorite
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Now an Award-Winning Finalist in the Non-Fiction: Narrative category of The 2012 USA Best Book Awards, sponsored by USA Book News. Obtain a free 40-page excerpt on www.kirschstonebooks.com. Against the backdrop of World War II tragedy and devastation in Latvia, Poland and Germany and three decades of European history, this true narrative provides a window into the palpitating heart of wartime upheaval through the lives of Rolf Dutzmann and Lilo Wassull-two people fatefully positioned "on the other side."
In December of 1939, swept along on a tide of dire necessity and circumstance due to the imminent Soviet takeover of his homeland, Rolf, a young Latvian aeronautical engineering student, flees with his family to Germany, a country fully under Hitler's control and already engaged in a brutal war. While the account chronicles Rolf's pursuit of his technical dream against daunting wartime odds, it is first and foremost a poignant love story that plays out against a panorama of worldwide chaos and destruction.
It is also a story of the seen and unseen forces that coalesce to keep Rolf and Lilo alive after they meet in 1940 Berlin, leading them through a chain of cataclysmic events including Rolf's draft into the Luftwaffe and his father's assignment as chief inspector of V-2 rocket production; the bombing of Berlin; the destruction of their homes; their numerous desperate, cross-country escapes from the bombing, the advancing Soviet troops from the east, and other Allied forces from the west; the POW camp hardships; and the deprivation of the postwar years.
Despite the immeasurable evil, suffering and desolation of World War II, a synchronistic chain of events provides an uplifting reminder that love and hope may take wing even out of the ashes of life's most terrifying adversities.
Flight of Remembrance, A World War II Memoir of Love and Survival, by Marina Dutzmann Kirsch, is the story of two individuals, Rolf Dutzmann and Lilo Wassull, and their extended families. Kirsch’s book tells about their childhood, how the two eventually met, fell in love, and eventually got married. Living in Germany during World War II, most of Rolf’s and Lilo’s story takes place in war time years, and tells of the horrors they lived through both during the war and afterwards, and the war time shortages that were so common-place (including having no heat, no living wages, and starvation rations). Luckily, eventually, the Dutzmann’s are able to get American sponsors, and Flight of Remembrance ends with how their family eventually immigrated to the United States.
Flight of Remembrance is not only filled with the horrors of Germany during the war, but includes many snapshots and paper memorabilia to really bring the story to life. Everyone thinks of Germans as the “bad guys” but Kirsch’s book is a great example that the truth is always much more complicated; that the Germans were real people, too, and struggled to survive against all odds and with fear of their own lives.
Rolf was a well-educated individual, and his struggles to feed and take care of his family is evident on every page, and you can only imagine if his family struggled so much, how much more the average person did – and that is actually the real beauty of “Flight of Remembrance”, because Rolf is the average person. It’s the smallest details that Kirsch shares with the readers that make this a memorable read. A great read for anyone who is interested in reading more about Germany, both before and after the war.
reviewed by Anastacia Zittel for Reader’s Favorite
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