Review by Vera Voelter

I read Melitta’s book with great interest. It is well written and represents an excellent record of the remarkable plight of her family. It was a terrible time in Germany and in spite of all the hardships, her father made the right decision to leave Romania and settle in Germany. If they had stayed in Romania, their fate would have been much worse. It’s only now that people in Romania aren’t dominated by Soviet Communists. Their lives were horrid. Even today after Communism I have been told life in Romania is no picnic.

Her father I’m sure wasn’t welcomed in Germany with open arms, bringing along a non Aryan wife and his non Aryan children. I’m not surprised he wasn’t put in his rightful place, the elite corps of engineers in the German army, in spite his degrees and skill in the field. It is also quite strange that he was set free 1945. No German soldier was that lucky. They all were prisoners of war until at least 1949 or prisoners in re-education camps. My own father came back from being prisoner of war in Russia 1951. He was released only because he had gotten hepatitis and wasn’t expected to arrive alive in Germany. My mother was informed that he made it out of Russia but we couldn’t go to see him for a long time because he was contagious. For me (10 years old) he was a complete stranger and I could never get used to having a man in the house.

Another thing that struck me very much out of the ordinary was her birth in the hospital, were she was up ducted. In those days women gave birth at home with the help of a midwife. Remember Hitler introduced socialized health-care in Germany. Hospitals were for sick people only. Giving birth was supposed to be a natural thing and hospitals were reserved for the sick and for wounded soldiers. By the time Melitta was born most of the hospitals were bombed out and what little was left was reserved for front soldiers. I know that because my Grandmother needed an operation and was told, so sorry, soldiers only. She had that operation in her general physicians office and almost died, because that doctor didn’t have the proper equipment and wasn’t really trained for surgery. But such were the times.

By and around 1945 Germany was flooded with people running away from the Communists even though it was just rubble and ashes. The city people were moved to the country where every house was confiscated. The rule was, 1 family per room of the house. Kitchen and bathroom facilities had to be shared. It was a terrible time. Hopefully, people in America will never have to experience “equality” and “sharing with strangers” like that ever.

Well, my parents generation has passed on and we, the children born during the war are old and gray. Most of us never want to be reminded of those days, but Americans might find it all very strange and interesting. Americans really don’t know how lucky they are with their Constitution and their Civil Rights. I wish they would appreciate their freedom more and cherish it. They are after all the luckiest, freest people in the world.

Please do read Melitta’s book. It will be an eye-opener, since none of what happened to Melitta’s family could have happened here.

Vera Voelter

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