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The Road Ahead Paperback – 2 Nov 2010
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"'Endearing and optimistic, this is a truly unmissable encounter'
"'Christabel is a very funny writer, but it is the fighting spirit of this remarkable woman, every time she sees an injustice, which really shines through'
Peter Grosvenor, Daily Express"
"'Intimate as a quiet talk round a kitchen table, her wonderful story-book writing leaves its readers the more vulnerable to the terrors she exposes'
Molly Keane, Spectator"
"'Christabel Bielenberg writes like a dream'
Peter Mullen, Daily Mail"
The sequel to The Past is Myself.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
This book picks up the story at the end of the Second World War in the Black Forest. She notes the rapes and robberies carried out by the "French" troops which came into Germany on the backs of the Anglo-American forces. In fact the troops were mostly (probably quite deliberately) blacks from West and NorthWest Africa and their officers either the same or riff-raff of one sort or another. some of the white "soldiers" were elements of the riff-raff known as the "Maquis".
The authoress is allowed to take her family to her native UK and stays, unhappily with relatives, though she notes, naively, how little of the black market exists in the UK! So she says. She later, around 1946 or 1947, visits Berlin and sees the "rubble women" trying to clear the devastated city. Many had been raped etc by Soviet soldiery and were now clearing rubble with their bare hands (there is a high hill in Berlin called the Teufelsberg or Devil's Mountain, made out of a lot of that rubble). Even her British soldier driver notes the incredible devastation of the German cities as compared to his native Coventry, often today put as a parallel...
After a year or so, she takes her family including her husband to Eire, though she had been "disappointed" I think she says, by de Valera's note of condolence on the death of Adolf Hitler in 1945. They buy a farm (no doubt she tapped some family money somewhere or other) and live as farmers in the Republic.
Mrs Bielenberg notes the change in Eire from the 1940's through to the 1980's, this book being printed in 1992. I saw big changes from my first visit in 1978 to the next one in 1986. I wonder what she made of the emergence of the charmless, hard-nosed and somehow un-Irish businessmen who now run British Airways and Ryanair?
The authoress later gets involved with the Peace Movement in Eire and Northern Ireland and especially with one of its leading lights, Mairead Corrigan, who (later, after the publication of this book) won the Nobel Peace Prize and even later, indeed very recently, was --I think, but am not sure-- one of those detained by Israeli forces for trying to enter the Gaza ghetto on a ship carrying humanitarian aid supplies).
The book has parts of interest but the second part at least did not grip me, though some might well enjoy it.
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