I was born in Hamburg, Germany three years before Hitler and his henchmen came to power and, therefore, had the misfortune of having to spend my formative years under the Nazi regime lasting 12 years. Another calamity I endured was the fact that I grew up in a somewhat dysfunctional family. My father, an extremely self-centered man, passionately opposed the regime, thereby causing a fair amount of bedlam in my family, and eventually divorced my mother. I soon was compelled to face the utter chaos surrounding me on my own.
A great number of books have been written about the brutality and the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis. Although not being personally pursued or harassed by them I, like the vast majority of the civilian population, suffered from the consequences of the inhumanity of the regime. From the age of ten years to the end of war at fifteen I had experienced the horrific and disastrous area bombing, somehow survived the infamous firestorm of Hamburg, saw untold dismembered and burned corpses of all ages lying in the streets, and witnessing other unspeakable misery. Therefore, now, at the fair old age of 82, I feel justified to put pen to paper to write about these experiences and of life in war-torn Germany, recounting what it was like to desperately (and largely on my own) fight for survival in those utterly chaotic times.
After the war, I married one of my supposed "enemies", emigrated into enemy territory to live in England for twenty years, migrated to New Zealand for thirty, and was unfortunately widowed after 50 years of marriage.
Now, seventy or more years later, I live very happily re-married to Mary ("Queen of Scots"), in Queensland, Australia where we intend to spend a peaceful and happy life for a little while longer.
Growing up in spite of Hitler
by Peter Grabow
Many books have been written about the brutality and atrocities committed by the unbelievably evil government of Nazi Germany. The author, born three years before Hitler came to power has now reached the age of 82 and is therefore part of a generation inevitably and steadily reducing in numbers and feels compelled to write his story as it unfolded within his war-torn country.
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