True to Both My Selves: A Family Memoir of Germany and England in Two World Wars by Katrin Fitzherbert lands on the |> SALE <| shelves in my shop.
Virago Press, 1998, Hardback in dust wrapper.
3rd impression. [First Edition: 1997] Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs; Genealogical Tables;
From the cover: Katrin FitzHerbert, born Katrin Thiele, was brought up in Nazi Germany as an ordinary German child. Then ten years later she was suddenly repatriated to England, her countrys war-time enemy. Though she spoke hardly any English, her English-born mother and grandmother insisted she conceal her German origins and never mention her German father a former minor but committed Nazi Party official and Wehrmacht officer.
When they issued her instructions on how to present herself in England, Katrins mother and grandmother Ethel were acting from earlier, bitter experience. Both were married to Germans and both had lived through the First World War in London, victims of the Germanophobia that swept the country. Katrins grandparents lost their business and their home; the family was rejected by their own relatives and, after the wars end, expelled to Germany. Katrins repatriation was, in fact, an uncanny replay of her mothers transfer in 1919, in the opposite direction, when she was a child. Yet, arriving in England in 1946, Katrin met with unexpected sympathy and kindness. Her challenge was making sense of it all, reconciling the powerfully idealistic morality of her Nazi upbringing with, on the one hand, the holocaust revelations that came to light and, on the other, the gentler values of pragmatism and tolerance she encountered in her new homeland.
True to Both My Selves is the story of three generations of spirited women who each had to spend part of their lives as Germans and part as English. Katrin was lucky she only switched nationalities once. Between them, they experienced all the highs and lows of Anglo-German relations this century, including the dramatic events of two world wars. Despite conflicting loyalties, their priority was always supporting one another and keeping the family together. To that end, in April 1945, as the Red Army was launching its final assault on Berlin, Katrins grandparents embarked on a hundred-mile trek through the wars last battlefields in search of their daughter and grandchildren.
With great sensitivity and liveliness, Katrin FitzHerbert reveals the dilemmas of their disjointed lives and of their struggle for survival and integrity as individuals in times divided by war.
Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Pages very gently age-tanned at the margins otherwise a very well presented copy.
Grey boards with Silver titling to the Spine.
[XII] 308 pages. Index. Bibliography. 9½” x 6¼”.
This book will be listed, sooner or later, for £6.50 on my delightful website… (added to my Biography category.) but get 50% off buying from my blog… below…