One of the things about studying history and especially our rather close history is that survivors and children of survivors of WWII are writing their stories. In this world of computers and easy access to publication the job of preserving those stories is much easier.

Born just after that war I well remember that what I heard, as I was growing up, about the war and about the Germans and the Japanese was more in the nature of Klinck in Hogan’s Heroes or the ‘evil’ Japanese who bombed Pearl Harbor and their absolute readiness to commit hari kari in service to their Emperor. TV shows did their best to perpetrate these images on all of us.

Lisa M. Hutchison has done a superb job of showing the other side of the war. This excellent book had me from the very beginning as Hutchison told her story. She describes the bombings of Berlin, of her family’s home absolutely destroyed, of the Luftwaffe pilot father’s absolute abhorrence of Hitler and of what the war (1939-1945) meant for millions of Germans who were caught up in the same suffering as those in the West, and through no fault of their own.

I learned a lot about the food shortages, the absolute lack of housing as whole streets and cities were demolished, the kindness of many who shared what little they had and the evil doings of some who caused the family to ultimately be housed like starving pigs in a barn. They had no heat, no help and no hope.

An alternate cover.

In the story, the pilot father does all he can to save his family but he no sooner solves one problem than he is rushed back to the Luftwaffe because pilots are dying every day and he is so needed.

This is an important work for readers everywhere but especially for those in the West. Well done, Ms. Hutchison!

Iron Annie and A Long Journey — from Goodreads

When Charlotte met Albert, the handsome Lufthansa pilot, she was sure their lives together would be nothing but bliss and happiness. Little did she know what was in store for her and her family.

It was the 1930s and the clouds of war were gathering all around them. Albert, by now a Major in the Luftwaffe had been deployed to Hitler’s private fleet of planes.

When WWII broke out Charlotte and Albert’s world fell apart. They would endure long separations, the losses of children, their home and eventually their country.

This is a family story of epic proportions, a thrilling page turner with incredible twists and turns of fate and destinies; heartbreaking as well as hilariously funny at times.

Will Albert and Charlotte survive? Will their love for each other be strong enough?

And who is Iron Annie? Be surprised, it is not who you think.

Immerse yourself in a true story of an ordinary German family caught up in the horrors of war.

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