Das Kind, das er war. Die Geschichte des Johann Avellis
(The Child He Was: The Story of Johann Avellis)
Rowohlt.Berlin Verlag March 2006, 160 pp.
A moving, personalised and truly haunting account of one boy’s experience of being half-Jewish in Hitler’s Berlin. Johann, or David as his mother would have preferred to christen him, excels at the French school he attends until the new Nazi race laws force him to leave. His Jewish father deserted the family in 1935, but this doesn’t lessen the stigma, and childhood is cut short. He survives, both to realise during the American occupation of post-war Bavaria that racial attitudes do not change overnight and also to become re-acquainted with his father and learn about his new life in Britain. An ending full of surprises.
was born in 1929 in Berlin. He studied economics and worked as a journalist. In 1972 he was awarded the Theodor Wolff prize. He lives as a freelance author in Southern Germany.
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