Soldier memoirs of World War II seem to abound, but I had trouble finding very many civilian accounts. Perhaps the survivors think they have nothing new to offer? They could not be further from the truth. My husband recently finished the Iron Curtain Memoirs and as a solider and military history buff he said,
“I even learned things I never knew before.”
So the features today are civilian accounts of the war. The first is “In the Shadow of the Sun” and is the true story of a young family interned on Java during the Japanese occupation. Written by the daughter’s daughter, Ronny Herman Dejong, the book and the author’s blog about that time period will open eyes to parts of the war rarely viewed. I connected with Ronny through LinkedIn, but she welcomes readers and shares so much on her website: ronnyhermandejong.com
I also want to share with you part of the Japanese War Crimes Files,the NARA Files, which became declassified in the year 2000 so you will understand what would have happened if the atomic bombs hadnot been dropped. In my 2011 World War II Memoir Rising from the Shadow of the Sun you will read all that as well as what happened after the war when I grew up and became who I am today.
The Iron Curtain Memoirs is the historical treasure I discovered through a high school student. Her grandmother is best friends with the writer who was raised in Germany under the rise of Hitler and through WWII. One thing I say often is that Anne Frank gave us 2 years, but Irene Kucholick gives us the whole war and beyond. Her memoirs are coming out in three books divided by historical periods and also as an all in one volume not yet released. “Before the Iron Curtain: My WWII Childhood,” “Behind the Iron Curtain: My Years Hidden as a Boy,” and “Iron Curtain Escape: My Journey to Freedom.” I think if you read one of them, you’ll want to read them all. Another great aspect of the first book is that it is appropriate for ages 10 and up and gives younger readers a peek at the war through the eyes of a child. It would also make a terrific WWII Reader for Homeschool use.
If you know of other WWII civilian memoirs, please comment with the titles. I’m compiling a list and would like to add your favorites.
Kristin King is the author of two paranormal romances “Unsinkable Vampire” and “Cain’s Coven.” Her next novel releases October 2013 and you can join the Release Party for it and the final Iron Curtain installment on Facebook here.