Tragic Tale About The Plight of Jewish People in Wartime Germany

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As a young by growing up in Switzerland Friedrich spends a lot of time with his mother who, unfortunately, has a drinking problem. She loves art and spends time with Friedrich visiting art galleries and museums and teaching him about art. She planned to study art as a young woman but wasn't accepted so now her wish is that Friedrich should become an artist. Friedrich and his friends are throwing snowballs one day when a man drives past in an open sleigh so they throw some snowballs at him, one of which hits him. The stranger goes to the boys and asks who threw the snowball. Sadly Friedrich says it was him and the man slices his cheek open with an antler horn then drives away, never to be seen again. Following his injury Friedrich finds he can no longer see colours, only shades of grey, although eventually he learns to identify colours by smell, however his mother loses interest in him. As war spreads Friedrich's mother wants their cook, who is Jewish, to be sacked but Friedrich's father, an importer of velvet who is often away on business, refuses. His mother leaves the family home and returns to Germany where she dies in a shed during an air raid having presumably been drunk and mistaken the shed for an air raid shelter. Friedrich hears that lorries are going into Jewish districts in German towns and cities and removing the people who are never seen again. He decides to travel to Berlin to study where he will meet Stella, a young Jewish woman trying to pass as an Aryan called Kirstin and the person in the title of this book, to avoid being sent to a concentration camp. The author, Takis Wurger, has dedicated this book to his great-grandfather who was, as he descibes it, gassed under the involuntary euthanasia programme. This is undoubtedly a heart-rending love story and also a truthful account of human frailties. A brilliant and moving book from such a young author.