- Paperback: 212 pages
- Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd; Reprinted Edition edition (1 Mar. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1845133161
- ISBN-13: 978-1845133160
- Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 x 1.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 883,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
My Friend the Enemy: An English Boy in Nazi Germany Paperback – 1 Mar 2009
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More About the Author
"* 'Required reading' Libby Purves, Midweek"
About the Author
Paul Briscoe is a retired teacher who now lives in Suffolk. He has spoken of his experiences to thousands of people in the UK and internationally. Michael McMahon is an author and a columnist for the Spectator. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Paul rapidly became thoroughly "Germanised", soon losing his memories of England and even the English language. He attended German schools, and was swept up in the nationalist mood to the extent that he joined the Hitler Youth, proudly wearing his uniform and joining in the militaristic parades and drills, along with the more "boy scout" aspects of the movement.
In the early years of the war, Paul's mother worked as a secretary in a government department and tried to sell secrets to the Germans. She failed to realise that her German contact was an MI5 agent provocateur, and ended up being imprisoned for treason, only avoiding a very long sentence because of her evident naivety. Paul meanwhile was so swept up in the Nazi movement that he actually participated in Miltenberg's own "Kristallnacht" when Jewish shops and synagogues were smashed.
When the war was over, Paul was forcibly repatriated to his mother in England, and we read of the difficulty of living in post-war Britain, particularly when German was your first language!
Paul Briscoe comes across as a genuinely good man, loyal to his mother despite the cavalier way she treated him throughout his life.Read more ›
There is honesty and some guilt here - the book was read in two evenings and ends as well as it starts with Pauls reintroduction to English life.
He becomes attached to his surrogate family and begins to enjoy life as a German. However, his life is due to change when his mother returns for him after the war. This is a very moving account - it becomes apparent that Paul's sadness can only be attributed to the selfishness of his mother. She treats her son like an object and always seems to misunderstand his feelings. It summises that his true sentiments lie with his surrogate family and his life is changed irrevocably on departure from his adopted homeland. A compelling read ...
This is one of those books that once you start reading is almost impossible to put down. I was completely lost and engrossed in the whole turmoil of war and boy angst. The fact that he was a British boy living in Germany and actually not being able to remember his mother's face or English really blew me away. Although, his mother was not my idea of a typical mother and it is obvious why he would have forgotten her. Paul's description of Herr Göpfert is great and I actually could hear and picture this terrible tyrannical pro-Nazi school teacher.
For anyone that is a fan of the true story genre this is a must read. It is such an amazing life and not one I have ever come across before. An English boy in Nazi Germany right through WWII and the way he came so close to danger is such powerful stuff.
Paul is such an emotional writer that at the very end of the book at the last line I too had a tear in my eye - powerful stuff indeed and I loved this book so much!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is a fascinating story and really is stranger than fiction. I loved the background details of life in Nazi Germany. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Gazdoc
I met Paul Briscoe on 2 or 3 occasions and he was a most interesting man who had lived a most unusual life having a Nazi sympathiser for a Mother. Read morePublished on 12 Oct. 2013 by Andy