I have read many, many books about WWII, but this is the first book I can remember reading set just prior to WWII giving us a fictional, first-hand account of Germany's condition. This book is set in post-war Berlin that was divided up by the Allies with Russia taking control of the Eastern section. The Russian government and "Democratic Germany Republic" force a physical separation with in the country's capitol by erecting a concrete wall between East and West, creating one physical boundary for the scene of the Cold War.
"Hatred between the east and west was growing, and Berlin seemed caught in the center of what the world described as the Cold War, a standoff of loud threats and puffed-out chests. Hopefully, it wouldn't lead to anyone bringing out their guns." (4)
This book begins very slowly, but once you are able to become invested in the characters, the plot becomes tense and the reader is drawn in to see if Greta and Fritz are able to successfully reunite their family in the West.
"The tourists couldn't do anything for me. Not even the powerful governments of the west could break through the Iron Curtain. And everyone inside East Germany with any sort of influence stood shoulder to shoulder with Russia.
No, there was only one person who could change my situation. Me." (76)
This book is a really good read for anyone interested in the Cold War period or interested in how a society can be manipulated or strong-armed into obedience, even if it is forced to behave contrary to their own nature.
"I felt like a disease. Just as my father had infected me, I could now infect others. But with what? courage to speak out? To act? To think and question and believe what I wanted to believe? Somehow I lived in a world where these things where these were bad things." (67)