Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Traveling Tuesday: Life in Germany

Traveling Tuesday: 
Life In Germany During the World Wars

I am an avid reader of fiction written during or about WWII. Initially, it was difficult to find many novels set during that time. Then several newscasters published books about “The Greatest Generation,” and it suddenly became a popular era about which to write. Oral history projects popped up as universities and museums sought to capture the stories of men and women who lived during the war.

It is often said that the winners are the ones who write the history books. I think there is a lot of validity in that statement. Whether it’s something as casual as sports or as serious as war, no one wants to hear from the losers. I don’t think an interview has ever been done with the guy who came in last during an Olympic race!

My novella Love’s Harvest is about a German man who was injured by mustard gas during WWI. In addition, I am in the outline stages of a novel in which the protagonist goes into German occupied territory during WWII. Therefore, I needed to research what life was like during the world wars.

Youtube has been a great tool for me to find interviews about nearly every topic. I also discovered a website devoted to the German homefront during WWII.

The most often asked interview question of Germans is “How could Germans have not known about the death camps?” One man’s answer: “The word used to describe what was happening to the Jews was ‘relocation.’ Where were they? People simply didn’t ask, because ‘relocation’ had an ominous ring, and they were scared to find out. When the Allies began seriously bombing Germany, Germans forgot about the Jews altogether.”

The same question could be posed to Americans: “How could Americans not have known about the Japanese ‘internment’ camps?”

Something to think about.

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