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I Was There (Puffin Books) [Paperback]

Hans Peter Richter , E. Kroll
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

27 Aug 1987 Puffin Books
A young German boy narrates his experiences in the Hitler youth movement during the early years of the Third Reich.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; New edition edition (27 Aug 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014032206X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140322064
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 12.3 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 678,046 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting 26 May 2004
Format:Unbound
I have read this book, and think that it is a great narrative of a child growing up in Nazi Germany. This is a book aimed at the pre-teen/young adult market, so don't expect literary wonders, but that doesn't stop it from being absolutely fascinating. The narrator tells of his adolescence growing up under Nazi rule and of his enthusiasm for all thing's Nazi. Through it all though, you are acutely aware of his naiviety, and, reading between the lines, you sense the tension from the adults around him. It is a very interesting first hand account of Germany at this time, and as such is great material for secondary age children learning about World War II, or discussions on propaganda.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't particularly like it. 3 April 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I'll have to admit, 'I was There' told a good story. I've always wondered about the German people during World War II. But I gave it two stars cause I didn't like the way it was written. The flow was jerky and the paragraphs were way too short. There was almost nothing about how the narrator felt, only description of his actions. The whole book went by too fast. I didn't like the protagonist not having a name, either.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting but leaves many holes not filled 7 Feb 2005
By Dave Fernandes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This, in many ways, is a strange sort of tale. On the one hand we do get a pretty good viewpoint of what it was like to serve in the Hilter youth. There are supporting characters like Heinz and Otto and there is a story and a very powerful one at that.

However there is also a lot of confusion in the book. Since the story is extracted from memories, presumably from an adult Hans Peter Richter retelling the story, the story is very fragmented. There is almost a stream of memories that don't quite connect to each other. You really have to pay attention and are often left with many questions mainly about how we got from point A to point B.

Up until the end, the book leaves the reader with many questions left unanswered. I found myself desiring to learn what happened to these people (those that lived) and how what were their lives after the war. Unfortunately, we never find out in this book. It's incomplete and many questions remain. Despite all that there is much to learn in this book and Germany is a lesson that should never be forgotten. Highly recommended reading for that reason alone!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A shorter version 15 Oct 2003
By J. Creighton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I came across this book aged 13 (many years ago) and was moved by the honesty of the author he manages to convey the excitement of joining Hitlers army through to the terror of close combat on the eastern front.
However, this version has been reduced by about 400 pages. the original is a truly massive work and the updated (?) version misses the point of the author. A real shame.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately muddled account... 18 Nov 2002
By Nelson Aspen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Interesting subject: an insider's look at what it was to be a member of the Hitler Youth. Unfortunately, this short autobiography becomes too quickly muddled and difficult to follow, leaving the reader apathetic to the real drama and heartbreak of the story's reality. I suspect this has something to do with the translation to English...the author's account obviously deserves a better treatment than it's getting here. A much larger, but more gripping novel, is HITLER's LAST COURIER which tells of a boy drafted into military service at the end of the war.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Was There ABook Review 12 July 2000
By Christian Kozlowski - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Recommendation I would recommend this book to anybody 12 and older because this book is meant for serious readers. I also would recommend that if you read this book you should have some interest in history because if you don't know what the Jungvolk is you wont understand half of the book. This book demonstrates how the young boys were forced into the Military, For Example when Otto was asked By the Commander of the Hitler Youth, "And how come you didn't join the Hitler Youth." When they weren't doing anything for the Hitler youth, they were like the soldiers slaves and they also were made fun of quite often by the soldiers. One time the soldiers said at the party to the boys when they were helping out, "What kind of milksops do we have here." So I would definitely recommend this book to people who have interest in History.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't particularly like it. 3 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I'll have to admit, 'I was There' told a good story. I've always wondered about the German people during World War II. But I gave it two stars cause I didn't like the way it was written. The flow was jerky and the paragraphs were way too short. There was almost nothing about how the narrator felt, only description of his actions. The whole book went by too fast. I didn't like the protagonist not having a name, either.
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