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Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
Anneros Valensi's Where is Home? How a Childhood in East Germany during World War II Shaped My Adult Life - 2nd Edition is a poignant memoir about a little girl growing up amidst the turmoil of the Second World War. The place is Falkenau in Silesia, East Germany and the year is 1944. Six-year-old Anneros' childhood is interrupted by the palpable change around her when children in school are ordered to greet everyone with the words 'Heil Hitler' and her father is drafted into the German army. What follows is a harrowing tale of bombing, evacuation, hunger and fear as her home is overtaken by the Russian troops.
Reading Where is Home? How a Childhood in East Germany during World War II Shaped My Adult Life is like experiencing war itself as a young girl. Author Anneros Valensi's story is emotionally gripping and highly interesting, as it gives us a glimpse of a side of a war that is seldom written about. The story unravels in a small town in Silesia, as told by a child, and the voice of innocence is truly endearing. The sequence of events immediately takes a harrowing turn as the war closes in and her family is torn away from the comforts of their home. The narration continues in a tone that is quite consistent and refreshingly unique. And as the little girl grows up, there is a shift in the narrator's perspective and we see a glimmer of hope. This is a story of courage and hope in the face of family separation and extraordinary destruction and, as such, it should serve as an inspiration to all of us.