A Cold and a Book

For the past two weeks I have had a strange cold. The first day I had chills, the second and third day I had a sore throat and my symptoms moved on from there. But they never left my throat which remained crazily messed up – causing me hours of crazy coughing (and anyone who knows me well, knows once I start crazily coughing, I cough forever). And because of the coughing, I lost my voice … and my energy. (No runny noses in this weird disease.)

So for days, I lethargically wandered around, wishing I had my usual pep. I wrote, finishing a few assignments, but that’s about it. I lost my appetite – mainly because my throat was so coated with cough drops and cough syrup I no longer had taste buds.

You would think me being me, I would’ve curled up in a chair and read one of the dozens of books I have around the house – but no, that didn’t happen either. I would read two or three pages and decide I wasn’t interested in the story.

OnHitler.jpge day, in desperation, I got in the car and headed for Barnes and Noble, determined to find a book that would hold my interest more than 10 seconds.

Alas, I had only been at the bookstore five minutes when one of my coughing spells hit me and I knew I’d have to leave. I grabbed the first book I saw that looked somewhat interesting, quickly purchased it and left.

The book was On Hitler’s Mountain by Irmgard A. Hunt.

An absolutely fascinating book. Irmgard tells the true story of being a young girl growing up in Bavaria on Hitler’s Mountain, right below the Eagle’s Nest/Obersalzberg. Her family were Nazis and totally bought into Hitler’s promises that Germany would be the greatest nation. They were naively unaware of his real purpose and had no idea that Jews were being killed.

When she was three, her family hiked up the mountain one day because they heard Hitler would come out to greet his admirers. That was the day he put her on his lap – a moment of glory for her parents.

But things began to happen. Her grandfather never did like what as going on. Her father joined Hitler’s army and lost his life and instead of the country getting better, slowly things got worse.

Irmgard, a good writer, takes you right there into her unique childhood where she attended school with the children of Hitler’s right hand men. She talks of Hitler’s policies slowly changing what they were learning in the classroom, of people starving, of being allowed to go up to the homes on the mountain (after the war was over) and take what they wanted. She also talks about the difficulties after the war.

Through it all, “beneath the bravado, I remained a committed Lutheran.” She goes on to say how her faith brought her solace and hope.”

I’ve read many books about World War II – stories of Jewish families who escaped, stories of Germans who helped the Jews, stories of people who were part of underground rescue missions. This was different. This was the story of a girl who was just there because that’s where her family lived.

Ms. Hunt now lives in the US and works on environmental issues.

The book was good and I am better.

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