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C is for Crazy Kids (#AtoZChallege Historical Treasure) @AprilA2Z

(All April you’ll find A to Z Historical Treasures here)

Photo Credit to Life.com

Photo Credit to Life.com

I’m all too aware of what crazy activities children get up to when adults aren’t aware. In mild cases, our four sons may show us video afterwards of what they did. Other times we may end up taking yet another ride to the E.R (It usually IS broken). Some stories they won’t tell till they are adults. Of course, we all think we’re invincible till a certain age or incident forces us to face reality.

Irene was no different–except she lived during World War 2, a time that offered decidedly different risks. Excerpted from Before the Iron Curtain: My World War 2 Childhood when Irene was 12 years old:

By 1941, two air raids were coming each night and at least one by day. Familiar places became heaps of rubble.

Hannelore’s parents had a bookstore where most of the parents bought their children’s school books. Hannelore was my age and we occasionally did our homework for school together. I was at her house one afternoon when an air raid started. Being alone in the apartment, we decided not to let the house warden know we were there when he struck alarms. From the window we watched the planes passed over our building and we tried to count them. They were heading toward the ammunition factories further south of the city. We saw them dropping their bombs, already some overhead, and heard the whistling sound as they were carried by the air to their destination. We heard many close and distant explosions that rocked the building. Smoke and flames boiled up into the sky. Then still another wave of planes came, their wings glistened in the warm afternoon sun.

“They’re coming toward us!” we both screamed. Our faces turned white, we crouched down, sure that we would be bombed. Then the sound of the motors diminished and we knew they were flying away. The bombs whistled through the air before they exploded on the steel mills. Shaken and frightened we waited out the alarm. We never disobeyed an air alert again.

Irene's World War 2 Childhood, (teen)Years Hidden As a Boy, and Escape to Freedom (East to West Berlin)

Irene’s World War 2 Childhood, (teen)Years Hidden As a Boy, and Escape to Freedom (East to West Berlin)

Crazy Kids alright. Irene heeded the call of the air raid signals after that, but tomorrow (D is for Dreams) she recounts another adventure where she talked her way past guards into an area restricted by the Nazis.

Till then…

Shout out to these fellow AtoZer’s:

www.fictionzeal.com

http://marthareynoldswrites.com

http://pluckingofmyheartstrings.com

https://sukanyaramanujan.wordpress.com

 

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Kristin King is author, publisher, speaker, mom, dog lover, military spouse, and NGO president. She has never stayed outside during a bombing but did as an adult confess other things to her parents. Irene is her hero.

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2016 in Memoirs & History

 

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B is for Bolsheviks (A to Z Historical Treasure)

April is the A to Z Blog Challenge – 26 posts in one month. My theme this year is Historical Treasure.

Publishers get to do things like update cover designs. This mockup might be on the 2nd edition of Irene's first book.

Publishers get to do things like update cover designs. This mock-up might be on the 2nd edition of Irene’s first book. Need to work in a swastika or other Nazi symbol.

Publisher.

Not a title I expected to have. Even after sending my husband’s first novel and my own into the world, I did not expect to work on getting others’ books into the hands of readers.

Then came Irene. Her complete manuscript came into my hands at church on a Sunday night. It was obviously photocopied from a typed original. Having never been a huge fan of biographies and history, I nonetheless agreed to look it over. Almost from page one I knew I was holding a historical treasure.

Here is an excerpt (copyright 1996 by Irene L. Emmerich Kucholick):

Around the time of my birth in 1929, in the industrial city of Chemnitz, Bolshevism had established itself in Russia. The Nazi party catapulted into power, teetering Europe on the brink of great turmoil.

My father, fluent in many languages, worked as a foreign correspondent for industrial firms. During evening hours refugees from Russia–members of the old white Russian nobility (anti red) crowded into his study to learn the German language. His attraction to a Russian countess and subsequent unfaithfulness to my mother caused her to leave him while she was pregnant with me, her first child. She later divorced my father.

….After dinner, strange people in elegant clothes began to arrive. Father took them immediately into his study. They spoke harsh-sounding words I could not understand.

“Russian,” Father told me.

When they took off their coats, I saw fashionable dresses of fine wool. They wore jewelry and I saw large rings reflecting bright colored lights from moving hands. Long earrings and necklaces held brilliant jewels.

“This is the wealth they brought from Russia,” Father said, “and they keep much of it on them. They are slow to trust others.” When the men removed their coats, I noticed medals of rank and honor, awarded by the Czar.

From this point forward, Irene’s memoirs had me. My fascination with the story of Anastasia, much encouraged by the 1970’s movie with Amy Irving as the supposedly still surviving Russian princess, and with the fate of the Tzar’s family prior to World War 2 urged me on.

3 Memoirs in 1: World War 2 Childhood, Years Hidden As a Boy, and Journey to Freedom (East to West Berlin)

3 Memoirs in 1: World War 2 Childhood, Years Hidden As a Boy, and Escape to Freedom (East to West Berlin)

Story after story of Irene’s young life in tumultuous times played out as I read straight through her childhood and young adult life in three days. History came alive for me in a way it never had before. Irene’s straight forward accounts, written without emotionally charged embellishments, brought the era closer home to me than had my visits to historical sights such as the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, the Dachau contraction camp, and the battle fields of Bastogne.

“We have to publish this,” I told my husband. And we did.

I’ve gotten to know Irene who is one of my heroes. Getting her story into the hands of readers became a labor love from the days of transferring typed pages into digital format via three softwares to the audio recordings I am making this month.

This is the historical treasure for you to catch glimpses of throughout the A to Z Blog Challenge this month. What episode of history fascinates you? Do you have a question for Irene? Tell us in the comments.

(Next up: C is for Crazy Kids (World War 2)

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Kristin King is a publisher with Three Kings Publishing, but she does not accept manuscripts for review…normally. Three Kings Publishing is a mom and pop publisher of Christian writers, not necessarily Christian books.

 
 

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