- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 2193 KB
- Print Length: 272 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 3453408071
- Publisher: Karl Blessing Verlag (25 Jun. 2010)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: German
- ASIN: B004OL2VOY
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #493,829 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Haltet euer Herz bereit: Eine ostdeutsche Familiengeschichte (German Edition) Kindle Edition
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Now to Leo's book. Quite simply, it's one of the finest first/second-hand accounts of life in the DDR I've ever read. The author reccounts life in the post-war German "Democratic" Republic from the recollections of his grandfathers: Gehard (maternal), a former anti-fascist resistance fighter who served admirably in France and Werner, a former German POW who returned to the eastern part of Germany after being released from years of forced labor in France. Gerhard is a staunch socialist who enjoys a degree of fame in the DDR while Werner adapts to life under socialism with what appears to be the same resignation (if not opportunism) that he had under national socialism just a few years earlier.
Leo also recounts the experiences of his parents Wolf and Anne. Wolf follows in the steps of his father Werner, making a decent living as an independent artist, while Anne lives a life of relative privilege on account of her father's social standing. It is interesting to see how both parent's youthful, idealism for a life under socialism gradually fades as day-to-day experience make clear that they are living in anything but a democratic society. Anne in particular witnesses this first hand shortly after she begins her career in journalism. The censorship and coercion she is subjected to are reminiscent of the Ministry of Truth in Orwell's 1984.
For me the most riveting part of the book lies in the final chapters, where Leo provides a firsthand account of the waning years of the DDR, through the fall of the Berlin wall. Although reunification occurred without any bloodshed, the reader will very much get caught up in the spirit of revolution that ultimately proved the downfall of a totalitarian state. Powerful stuff.
The book is written in easy to understand German, no mile-long sentences. The intermediate German learner should have no problems getting through it.
Ich lebe schon seit mehr als 30 Jahren in den Vereinigten Staaten und finde, dieses Buch macht einen aufrichtigen Versuch das Phänomen des DDR Staates und seine unmenschlichen Eingrenz-Bemühungen zu zeichnen.
Würde es jedem Ex-Deutschpatrioten, Geschichtslehrer und am Thema interessierten Leser ans bereite Herz legen.