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Damned Strong Love: The True Story Of Willi G. And Stefan K.

138 pages2 hours


When the Nazis overran Poland in the fall of 1939, fifteen-year-old Stefan K.'s father was sent off to a German labor camp. Now, in the tense days of occupation, Stefan scrambles to help take care of his family. Yet when his brother, Mikolai, takes him out after curfew to celebrate his sixteenth birthday, Stefan makes a life-changing discovery: he yearns for men the way his brother does for women. As he juggles his time between his day job at a bakery and his evening work in the theater, Stefan becomes more aware of his desires. And then he meets Willi, his one true love.

Everything about Stefan's love affair with Willi is damned. They are both men. Willi is an Austrian airman, a Nazi soldier. Stefan's brother is actively fighting the Germans in the Polish Resistance. Yet Stefan and Willi's love sees no boundaries of nation, race, or gender. It is too strong to deny. And too passionate to survive. When the Gestapo discovers their affair, not only their love but their lives are in great danger.

Based on the true story of Stefan K., who has written a letter to readers at the end of the book Damned Strong Love is a novel that shows the power and importance of love even as it describes the terrible price of intolerance and hatred. Stefan and Willi's love was damned, but it was strong; Lutz van Dijk's powerful and humane novel is their legacy.

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