Eleanor Ayer tells the true stories of Helen, a Jewish girl who grew up near Frankfurt, Germany, and Alfons, a boy born just a few miles away on a farm. Helen was shipped to the Auschwitz extermination camp. Alfons embraced the Nazi Youth. Over 40 years later, Alfons and Helen met and found they shared a common purpose--to help people understand ...
Eleanor Ayer tells the true stories of Helen, a Jewish girl who grew up near Frankfurt, Germany, and Alfons, a boy born just a few miles away on a farm. Helen was shipped to the Auschwitz extermination camp. Alfons embraced the Nazi Youth. Over 40 years later, Alfons and Helen met and found they shared a common purpose--to help people understand that peace and compassion is possible between individuals, and on a larger scale as well. Young Adult.
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Publishers Weekly, 2000-02-14 Ayer juxtaposes the stories of two WWII youths, one a German Jew and the other a Hitler Youth, excerpted from their published memoirs. "Weak execution undermines the premise of the volume," said PW. Ages 10-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1995-06-26 Weak execution undermines the premise of this volume, a dual biography of Waterford, a Jewish woman who survived Auschwitz, and Heck, a German who had risen to the highest circles of the Hitler Youth organization. As the book states, Waterford and Heck currently speak publicly as a team, together explaining the horrors of WWII and the importance of compassion in healing that war's wounds. As the editor of Renaissance House, Ayer has already published Waterford's and Heck's individual memoirs (respectively, Commitment to the Dead; and A Child of Hitler and The Burden of Hitler's Legacy); here she excerpts passages from these works and interpolates a chronicle of the war. However, her account skimps on facts-even so basic a matter as Waterford's date of birth is obscured, and battles and campaigns are only roughly situated (``Early in 1942, the Allies struck back. For the first time, British troops defeated the Germans''). This soft-focus approach allows Waterford's and Heck's statements to go unchallenged-a particular problem with Heck, whose story seems self-serving and incomplete at best. Accordingly, the thesis is hard to swallow-that Waterford and Heck were both Hitler's victims. Ages 12-up. (June) q (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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