Be patient, they tell me. It will happen, they say. My writer’s group, my former fiction writing instructor, my classmates tell me that my story is important, that it will be found and published.
I agree, of course, how could I not. I believe it to be an important part of history that has been ignored for a seventy years. It was my goal to showcase the lives of two ordinary families, especially their children, during a time when Germany was considered a country full of Nazis. Even today, we always remember it this way. Because of what Hitler and his cohorts did, how they terrorized and killed millions of Jews, but also communists and minorities. Like in all dictatorships, nobody was safe if they didn’t agree, didn’t obey. And we should remember that many citizens did not participate in the atrocities, some even rebelled and did amazing things like Oskar Schindler who saved 1,200 Jews from the Nazi regime. Many did smaller deeds, less noticeable, like my father and his mother who hid a man in their basement.
But this story is about a boy and a girl, how they overcome one terrifying adventure after another through an adolescence filled with hunger and fear. And though I mentioned them to be ordinary, I mean it in the sense that they had no famous ancestors, that they weren’t wealthy or made a name for themselves later. The way they grew out of the terrible adversity of destruction and hate, it becomes clear, that they did have extraordinary strength of character. It is also a story of common sense and of rebellion, traits that saved their lives.
By the time they find each other, they are both scarred but recognize in each other qualities, they crave. They fall in love despite the wreckage of their past lives.