Fritz And Kurt by Jeremy Dronfield is a powerful historical novel for children aged ten years and over.
The novel is the true story of brothers Fritz and Kurt who lived in Vienna in 1938 as the story opens. They were Jewish and at the time 180,000 Jewish people lived in Vienna.
Hitler and the Nazis marched into Austria with very little opposition. Any that they encountered was swiftly put down. We see how daily life altered rapidly for the brothers who lived with their parents and two sisters. Friends soon became informants to the Nazis. Avenues were sought to send the children to safety but it came too late for Fritz.
The story follows both brothers – Kurt to America who bravely voyaged alone aged just eleven years old. And Fritz who was old enough to be sent on the transport to the concentration camps with the men. It was a truly harrowing and awful time.
The reader sees the close bond between Fritz and his father as they try to help each other and keep hope alive that there will be better days ahead.
Jeremy Dronfield has written a powerful tale that is horrifying and harrowing, probably more so to older readers who have knowledge of just what really happened. Jeremy Dronfield says just enough to tell the true story without giving young children nightmares with graphic details. My granddaughters are very sensitive but I am letting them read this book because they need to know what happened, as does all the next generation, in the hope that never again will the innocent be slaughtered in such a way. Unfortunately, we see that many do not learn the lessons from history.
As well as simple words telling the story, the whole book is powerfully and yet simply illustrated by Ziggy Greene.
Fritz And Kurt is a read suitable for any age, not just children. You will be full of admiration for the bravery of the brothers who lived through a time of great evil.
Fritz And Kurt must be read n memory of the six million innocents who died and in memory of those who survived. It is a book that should be on the National Curriculum for education. We must never forget the six million innocents.
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