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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Auslander
A brilliant story of danger and survival in Nazi Germany.

Polish orphan Peter is 'Volksdeutscher' - of German blood, and looks the Aryan ideal with his blond hair and blue eyes. He is sent to Berlin, where he is invited to live with the Kaltenbach family. He soon realises that he does not share Professor and Frau Kaltenbach's pro-Nazi ideals. At first he...
Published on 8 Oct. 2009 by cbd

versus
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard to get into
I never really got into this book. The blurb makes it sound good but there is nothing driving it along to make one want to turn the pages.
Published 23 months ago by Rev. G. Smith


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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Auslander, 8 Oct. 2009
By 
cbd (Cambridge, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ausländer (Hardcover)
A brilliant story of danger and survival in Nazi Germany.

Polish orphan Peter is 'Volksdeutscher' - of German blood, and looks the Aryan ideal with his blond hair and blue eyes. He is sent to Berlin, where he is invited to live with the Kaltenbach family. He soon realises that he does not share Professor and Frau Kaltenbach's pro-Nazi ideals. At first he thinks that he is alone in not accepting the Nazi ideology that's all around him, but gradually he realises that he is not alone. He falls in love, and becomes involved with the highly-dangerous anti-Nazi free-thinkers, which includes assisting Jews that have gone underground. He also discovers, on more than one occasion, that you can't always judge someone by first impressions.

The story vividly portrays the dangers of wartime Berlin. Peter appears to be the ideal Hitler-Jugend member; obedient, brave and in good physical health. Underneath, though, he never loses his compassion and generosity of spirit. The story doesn't flinch from giving details of what might (and frequently did) happen to those judged dispensible by the Nazis, but doesn't dwell on the cruelty. This would be a great "background" read for those interested in discovering more about this period of history. It is also ideal for demonstrating that not all Germans were Nazis - a common misconception among the young.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Auslander, 22 Jan. 2010
By 
Jenny, Wondrous Reads (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ausländer (Paperback)
I'm a big fan of fiction set in and around the Second World War. I don't know what it is that fascinates me, all I know is that it's a particular point of interest, and has been the subject of some of my favourite books. Auslander is a great addition to war fiction, and though it's not up there with The Book Thief or The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, it's most definitely worth a read.

By reading the first page alone, you can tell Dowswell has done his homework. His attention to detail is almost flawless, as is his ability to paint a clear picture of wartime Germany and its surrounding areas. Warsaw in 1941 is a scary place to be, and that's where Peter's story starts. From there, he's sent to a family in Germany, introduced to Nazi propaganda, and deemed an auslander -- a foreigner. He also stumbles across proof of medical experiements being tested on jews, and becomes tangled up in a dangerous web of lies and deceit. It's all for a good cause, but it doesn't do him any favours as a respected member of the Hitler Youth.

I can't even imagine what it must have been like to be a teenager during WWII. Most of their choices were stripped away, and they lived in a constant fear of being bombed or killed because their hair wasn't the right colour. With Auslander, Dowswell tries to show that fear and uncertainty and, for the most part, he manages to. I personally wanted to see more of the Hitler Youth, and how that affected the children and teenagers enlisted. I also would have liked a first person narrative, so I could have read how Peter was feeling, and how everything was really affecting him. Without being in his head, I did have some trouble warming to him, and by the end of the novel, I still wasn't fully convinced.

The Reiter family, who were my favourite characters, reminded me very much of Hans and Rosa Huberman from The Book Thief. Compassionate and selfless, they put others first, even if it meant dying themselves. There's no better message to convey than that of acceptance and equality, and that's what I've taken away from Auslander. The pace could have been faster, and the characters easier to identify with, but in the end, it's all about Peter's story. And what an important story it is.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable, 3 Nov. 2009
This review is from: Ausländer (Hardcover)
Ths grabs you from the first page. My 13 year old picked it up from the library as it's being reviewed for a teenbook prize. He read it in one sitting, so I thought I'd see what the fuss was about. Thought-provoking, good characterisations, well researched and thoroughly readable to any age.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Historical Fiction, 4 Oct. 2009
This review is from: Ausländer (Hardcover)
A really thoughtful and well-researched book about World War 2, from an unusual angle - the story of a Polish orphan resettled in Berlin with a Nazi family. At first Peter is pleased to find a new family and be in Germany, but gradually he comes to hate the Nazi regime. But how can he rebel and escape when it could cost him his life? A compelling story with well-drawn characters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read, 1 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Ausländer (Paperback)
This book tells the story of Peter, a polish orphan who finds himself adopted by the Katlenbach's, a german family. Here he is introduced to the Nazi regime and finds himself questioning all he has been told by his new family. He falls in love with a young girl and starts to help her and her family in their anti Nazi movement.

Paul Dowswell has done a great job in making his characters come to life, this is aided by the attention to detail within the book.

A compelling book with well thought out characters and about an extremely thought provoking subject.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric, chilling novel about civilian life in WW2 Germany, 27 Jan. 2015
By 
Ben Kane (Nr Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Auslander (Kindle Edition)
This book has been on my radar for some time. It's always interesting to read about the stories of peoples who were on 'the other side' in world conflicts such as WW1 and WW2. This YA story by Dowswell is a delight, dragging us completely into the life of civilians in Germany, and showing us how much the all-pervasive Nazi party-state influenced things. We're all used to the stories of the battles in WW2, but less is known about what went on in Germany's towns and cities. It's quite frightening how normal utterly crazy things became, and how people rationalised it so that they could cope, and survive. A great read, and one I look forward to reading to my son and daughter, when they are a little older.

Ben Kane, author of the Spartacus and Hannibal novels.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars even better, 21 Aug. 2009
By 
R. Tompsett (e sussex) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ausländer (Hardcover)
Paul Dowswell books i have dicovered in the past year,from the powder monkey to the slave ship and battle fleet. have been great and then i find Auslander, well i do hope that Paul keeps up the good work as i now am waiting for his next book with anticipation.Auslander
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5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant book. A must read, 22 May 2014
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This review is from: Auslander (Kindle Edition)
I loved reading auslander, it takes you on such a journey thought out. I could never put the book down!
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5.0 out of 5 stars great story, 3 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Auslander (Kindle Edition)
Absolutely brilliant and really showed Germany in it's time under the influence of the Fuhrer and his cohorts Himmler and Heydrich .
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5.0 out of 5 stars auslander, 22 July 2013
By 
Mr. M. J. Whimp "minster men" (bolton,lancashire,england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Auslander (Kindle Edition)
very good read could not put the book down at all easy to read good price as always from amozon
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Ausländer
Ausländer by Paul Dowswell (Paperback - 4 Jan. 2010)
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