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Ruined by the Reich

Memoir of an East Prussian Family, 1916-1945

Ruined by the Reich by Christel Weiss Brandenburg
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Decades have passed since World War II, yet the myth that all Germans were Nazi sympathizers still persists. This book follows the story of the Weiss family in East Prussia from World War I to the end of World War II. It is told from the point of view not of the victors but of the vanquished. Beginning with the good citizenship trap Hitler set for law-abiding German families, the book describes how Germany first prospered and then fell to ruin with the Third Reich. The people traded their freedoms for a national security, which quickly turned to tyranny with swift consequences for "disobedience." Like Christel's brothers (soldiers and members of Hitler's Youth), propaganda-fed children all over the Reich believed the highly idealized depiction of their roles and of their nation's victims. This fascinating and richly detailed memoir is told through the intimate narration of a woman who grew up in the midst of turmoil, experienced poverty and prejudice, witnessed the deaths of many loved ones, and was driven from her home by the Soviet Army. The combination of domestic details and vivid historical descriptions creates an unusual book as absorbing as it is educational.
McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers; October 2003
225 pages; ISBN 9781476606866
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Title: Ruined by the Reich
Author: Christel Weiss Brandenburg; Daniel R. Laing