My German Question

My German Question

Growing up in Nazi Berlin

eBook - 1998
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In this poignant book, a renowned historian tells of his youth as an assimilated Jew in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1939. Peter Gay describes his family, the life they led, and the reasons they did not emigrate sooner, and he explores his own ambivalent feelings -- then and now -- toward Germany and the Germans. His insightful account is a significant contribution to the history of German Jewry and to the art of autobiography.
Publisher: New Haven : Yale University Press, [1998], ©1998
ISBN: 9780585347578
Branch Call Number: 921 Gay
Description: xii, 208 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: EBSCOhost (Online service)


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Aug 26, 2007

There are thousands ? perhaps millions ? of stories with WWII Germany as a backdrop. I'm glad to have read this one ? Peter Gay's account of growing up in a irreligious Jewish household in Berlin, and how the rise of the Nazis and their ever-constricting stranglehold on German society and "undesirables" led to his family fleeing Germany. Though Gay's family booked passage out of Germany, he and his parents narrowly escaped a much different fate when Herr Fröhlich (Gay's German surname before settling in America) decided to change luxury liners from the one originally booked ? the St. Louis! Gay's tone is conversational, lively, at times eloquent. His command of his adopted language is exceptional. While reading I detected some not-so-subtle vehemence toward the Nazis (and why not?), but also, to a lesser degree, toward the German people. It's this bottle-up frustration and anger toward his homeland he works at reconciling during the latter part of his life.


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