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Reluctant Nazi: Searching for My Grandfather

288 pages8 hours


The author only discovered her grandfather was a Nazi when she found his diary in 2005 . A heart-rending account of what Germans faced after VE Day: starvation, disease, homelessness. An ultimately uplifting story, against all the odds. After her father, a fighter pilot in the Luftwaffe, was killed during a mission over the south coast of England, Gabrielle Robinson was mainly brought up by her grandparents. Her grandfather, known to her as Api, was an ophthalmologist: a kind, gentle man who helped her with her schoolwork and told her bedtime stories. Forty years after his death, she discovered a diary that he had kept during the darkest of dark days, beginning in April 1945, when he had left her and her grandmother in the countryside and returned to Berlin. Api had been an army doctor, stationed in the centre of the city, and as such, however reluctantly, he had had to join the Nazi Party. His diary is a heart-rending account of what is was like to live in Berlin as Hitler's Reich collapsed - the hunger, the disease, the bombing, the threat of retribution from the occupiers - and his struggle to survive, to shake off the stigma of being a Party member, to rebuild his life and to return to his beloved wife and granddaughter.

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