Detlev Kirchgatter was a child during the Nazi era, who escaped what became East Germany as a refugee in 1947. His wide-ranging experience brings a unique perspective to the enormous political, social and economic changes which have characterized the past fifty years. A must read for anyone studying or interested in German history. More
The author escaped from Soviet occupied East Germany in 1947 at fourteen years of age. This left him an unwanted citizen in West Germany. Having to survive, he ended up in North Sea dike construction and a spell of coal mining in the Ruhr District. By 1952 he was able to emigrate to Canada and followed the proverbial career of an immigrant; dishwasher, miner, carpenter, eventual university graduation, setting type in a newspaper, work in oceanography, farming and teaching. Being a trained geographer, and as part of his job pursuits he managed to travel extensively (some of it in his own sailing vessel), in North American, Europe and East Africa. This book is an examination of the people, their ways of life, encountered in this eventful experience. If one had to sum up this volume, it is probably best described as a contemporary history as experienced by one man. A must read for anyone studying or interested in German history.
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