My gutsy friend Paul Vantoch has published his memoir — Outlasting the Nazis and Communists — about life in Prague, Czechoslovakia, during the Nazi occupation and holocaust, and he recounts his harrowing escape from the USSR tyranny that followed.
It’s an interesting story, especially about the “mischlinge” (half-breeds, as Hitler called them), and how they were spared in terms of the concentration camps, but were second-class citizens. Paul, for example, was not allowed to graduate from high school, and his parents had to divorce (and his Jewish father go into hiding) to save the family business. The writing is a bit “historical” (telling) for my taste, but it offers insight into an aspect of the Nazi regime that has not received much attention. It also offers a good look at what life was like in Prague during both the Nazi and Communist occupations, as well as the risks involved in attempting to escape to West Germany.
This is a very human story, even if you’re not a fan of history, and well worth reading.