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A Young Girl’s War by Sheila Nelson

A Snapshot In Time

A Young Girl’s War by Sheila Nelson is a powerful account of the author’s experience of living in London during World War II.

Sheila Nelson was born in 1931 and has a vivid snapshot of memories of the war as it impacted her childhood.

Evacuated early on to Brighton proved to be a traumatic event. Although safe from any bombs falling, being isolated from her family was awful and Sheila Nelson soon returned home. Incidentally my Dad was also evacuated early on to Llandudno and he hated it, wrote letters home daily and was popped back on a train to Birmingham after just two weeks!

Whilst the author’s family house did not have any direct hits, her road did and therefore her house continually suffered damage such as the glass being blown out and doors being blown off hinges (coincidentally this happened to my Dad’s house too). At one time the family house was uninhabitable and Sheila Nelson’s family sofa surfed between relatives.

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My Father’s Uniform by Jaitsche Wassenaar

The Impact Of Choices

My Father’s Uniform by Jaitsche Wassenaar is a powerful account of the daughter of an NSB member living in Holland during World War II.

The young girl is only eight years old in 1944 and is traumatically impacted by the cruelty she receives from her peers as her father is an NSBer. She is tarred by association.

We hear of life on a farm and see the war through the eyes of a child. We witness the cruelty inflicted by her teacher as the choices of adults disrupt young lives.

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A Tailor In Auschwitz by David Van Turnhout and Dirk Verhofstadt

A Time Of Great Evil

A Tailor In Auschwitz by David van Turnhout and Dirk Verhofstadt (translated by Kristien De Wulf and Jane Camerea) is a powerful and horrifying account of the plight of the Jewish people during World War II.

The book came about after researching David van Turnhout’s paternal grandfather’s experiences during WWII. Whilst alive, his grandfather spoke very little about his war years.

As we hear the story of his grandfather, this microcosm is part of a much bigger story.

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Letters To Doberitz by Derek R Payne

No Winners, Only Losers In War

Letters To Doberitz by Derek R Payne is a powerful tale about the experiences of the author’s grandparents and great grandparents during World War I.

The author has captured life at home, on the battlefields and in Doberitz, a prisoner of war camp. He vividly paints the scenes using his words. Horror does not come close to describing it. The trenches and the POW camp were places of sheer horror and terror. Writing letters home, the author’s relatives tried to shield their loved ones from the worst.

I found the description of the train journey to Doberitz particularly harrowing.

Derek R Payne’s grandfather suffered from an unknown neurological condition we would now call PTSD. He was experimented on in the POW camp with the hope of not only curing him, but developing a treatment for German soldiers. It did not work. He returned home with nightmares that would continue to plague him down the years.

War leaves many battle scars, some go deep down. “Will never talked about it [his wartime experiences] for many years.”

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