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Hardcover Mischling, Second Degree: My Childhood in Nazi Germany Book

ISBN: 0688801102

ISBN13: 9780688801106

Mischling, Second Degree: My Childhood in Nazi Germany

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Like New


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Book Overview

The memoirs of a German girl who became a leader among the Hitler Youth while her Social Democratic family kept from her the secret of her partial Jewish heritage.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

I Know Ilse Koehn

I knew Ilse Koehn when she was writing this book. She always spoke with such love for her father, while never explaining why. Now I understand. I've read her book and taught it in middle school; not because we were friends, but because this age group can relate to all the emotions Ilse expresses in so many aspects of an "outsider/survivor" child during World War II. Young adults today must cope with life as it moves on, just like Ilse, who faced a life which often made no sense. As an adult she writes her memoir. Did the girl, Ilse, understand? Or does Ilse, the mature woman,understand the events which effected her existance? Does the passge of time give us a clearer vision? My students look at Ilse's life and writing this way. Ilse Koehn's book makes them think. Ilse's writing helps many students find understanding.

children don't know

This book tells the story of Ilse Koen itself, who was told by her parents out of trying to protect her, that her name is Kohn (which would be "a good german name" as her father puts it) and not Koen, which would suggest jewish heritage; and indeed, she is "Mischling, second degree". In Nazi Germany there were the Nürnberg laws, that said, that Jews must be expelled "onto 3rd and 4th degree". To protect little Ilse, her parents don't tell her of her jewish heritage and send her to her arish grandmother. She is even goin on "Kinderlandverschickung"(sort of holidays for children away from their parents) with the BdM (Convention of german girls). Though she never is impressed by Nazi-rituals, she is forced to go with the crowd. A really good book for young teenagers.An exemple of naivety and fear of brutal force is given in this book. Refer also to similar book: Hitlerjunge Salomon.

Absolutely mesmerizing-- and important-- story

This book changed my life. I found this book by chance at around age 10, and Koen's story was and remains to me the most vivid, affecting account of WWII I've ever read. Intensely personal and told from a child's point of view, I highly recommend this book; it is a crystalline window into the insanity of Germany under Hitler and of policies that categorize people by their race. I'd very much like to hear from others who've read it.

Read It, You'll Love It!

This book is a treat! You can't read it just once; I've been re-reading it for about fifteen years! Ms. Koehn makes the point that "war is hell" simply by stating her experiences during wartime as they unfolded. And the character study of Ilse's two grandmothers, one practical and one refined, is one of the best in literature, particularly when the gruff one's true colors are revealed at the wonderful ending. Would that all autobiographies were as terrific as this one!

Good Book...Bad Conclusion

Mischling, Second Degree: My Childhood in Nazi Germany was an excellent book. There are a couple problems such as the situations inflicted on the people were not explained because the book was written by a child who did not understand or was aloud to hear what was going on. The ending was very weak because it was predictable and didn't explain what had happened to the father.
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