Loyal To A Degree by Horst Christian
Based on a true story, a young boy in World War II Germany is forced to become a man well before his time, or perish.
Karl Veth is 14 years old and as mandated by German law, a member of Hitler Jugend (Hitler Youth). He is the assistant to the leader of a KLV camp in Poland - an air raid evacuation camp where 120 German boys under the age of 12 were sent to protect them from the bombings in Berlin. As the Russian army advances and breaks through the German defense lines, Karl is put in command of safely transporting the boys from Poland back to their families in Berlin. He must, however, do this without any help from headquarters.
Once back in Berlin, Karl receives new orders. Having spent a great deal of time exploring the subway tunnels of Berlin when he was younger, Karl has unique knowledge of the subway system. Upon learning that he is a "subway rat", the SS takes advantage of Karl's knowledge and orders him to act as a guide for SS demolition commandos in the tunnels.
While the Russians move closer and the fall of Berlin is imminent, Karl is in the midst of the destruction of the city where he was born. Every day he sees and smells death on the streets and as he does so, his loyalty begins to waver.
Hungry, scared, and disillusioned with the war, Karl must constantly rely on his wits simply to stay alive. As a member of the Hitler Youth he is expected to fight like a soldier, however, he reaches a point where he must make a critical decision - live or die.
About The Author...
I was born in Berlin, Germany in 1930. My father taught me to read and write before the age of 5 and by the time I was 10 years old, I discovered my love for writing. I wrote vacation reports and several articles for a German school periodical.
When I was 10, I entered the “Jungvolk,” a subdivision of the Hitler Youth, which was mandatory in the Berlin school system. I then entered the Hitler Youth at the age of 14, also mandatory, and continued writing for the Hitler Youth periodicals.
I was drafted to help defend Berlin against the Soviets at the age of 14 because of my unique knowledge of the subway system and I served as a guide for various SS demolition commandos.
My books are based on my own experiences as a young boy in Germany during World War II and the days leading up to and after the fall of Berlin. There have been many books written about the war, but none from the perspective of a 14 year old boy who was forced to fight for a cause he did not understand.
I immigrated to the United States in the early 1950s and became a citizen. My wife, Jennifer, and I live in Northern California on a small ranch, where we have been for the last 30 years.
Other Books By Horst Christian
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