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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
I Was There
by Hans Peter Richter
Age Range: 12+
When Hitler came to power in 1933 children throughout Germany began joining the Hitler Youth Movement, encouraged to take part in the glories of Hitler’s Third Reich. The narrator of I Was There and his friend Heinz become enthusiastic members, but their friend Günther participates only because of the pressures on himself and his family. His father is a communist and has already experienced prison. They enjoy the comradeship and immerse themselves first in the Jungvolk and then the Hitler Youth. Whether it is soliciting money for the poor, collecting scrap iron, shouting frenzied ‘Heil Hitlers’, tormenting Jews or receiving pre-military training the boys are indoctrinated into giving their life to the Fatherland.
I Was There spans a decade from 1933 – 1943. This is an authoritative autobiographical account where Nazi Germany is dramatically brought to life making it unforgettable and compelling reading. At the back of the book there is a detailed breakdown of all the different Hitler Youth Organisations, Notes and a Chronology.