Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip


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Ersteintrag: 17.03.2012 14:47:36 GMT+01:00
Zuletzt vom Autor geändert am 17.03.2012 18:49:53 GMT+01:00
Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip 1,47

Harry Leslie Smith's second memoir, Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip is a love story in my mind and it's just brilliant. -Judging covers

The memoir is well written, with a compelling story that carried me along steadily. I like to find at least one reviewing pinprick, although it's difficult this time. The book ends with a cliff-hanger, making me wonder what came next. In all, I cannot recommend this memoir highly enough.-The Kindle Book Review

Product Description
"Twenty-two years old and ready for peace, Harry Leslie Smith has survived the Great Depression and endured the Second World War. Now, in 1945 in Hamburg, Germany, he must come to terms with a nation physically and emotionally devastated. In this memoir, he narrates a story of people searching to belong and survive in a world that was almost destroyed.
Hamburg 1947 recounts Smith’s youthful RAF days as part of the occupational forces in post-war Germany. A wireless operator during the war, he doesn’t want to return to Britain and join a queue of unemployed former servicemen; he reenlists for long term duty in occupied Germany. From his billet in Hamburg, a city razed to the ground by remorseless aerial bombardment, he witnesses a people and era on the brink of annihilation. This narrative presents a street-level view of a city reduced to rubble populated with refugees, black marketers, and cynical soldiers.
At times grim and other times amusing, Smith writes a memoir relaying the social history about this time and place, providing a unique look at post-WWII Germany. Hamburg 1947 is both a love story for a city and a passionate retailing of a love affair with a young German woman."

Antwort auf einen früheren Beitrag vom 17.03.2012 16:20:12 GMT+01:00
Tante Li meint:
Hi,
and who are You?
8-?

Veröffentlicht am 17.03.2012 16:48:33 GMT+01:00
I am the author Harry Leslie Smith

Antwort auf einen früheren Beitrag vom 17.03.2012 17:01:57 GMT+01:00
Zuletzt vom Autor geändert am 17.03.2012 17:14:53 GMT+01:00
Tante Li meint:
I see.

Veröffentlicht am 17.03.2012 17:06:26 GMT+01:00
What comes next is discussed in the book I am currently writing The Empress of Australia. It ties up all the lose ends of my early life and should answer any outstanding questions. Cheers, Harry

Veröffentlicht am 17.03.2012 17:07:31 GMT+01:00
Josefa meint:
@ Tante Li: As far as I understand, that part was a quote from "The Kindle Book Review".

Antwort auf einen früheren Beitrag vom 17.03.2012 17:16:19 GMT+01:00
Tante Li meint:
@ Josefa
Yes, now I see it, too.
Sorry!
:-)

Antwort auf einen früheren Beitrag vom 17.03.2012 17:20:29 GMT+01:00
Tante Li meint:
Sorry, Harry, my fault.
I was blind.
Cheers and good luck to your next publishing.

Veröffentlicht am 17.03.2012 17:30:57 GMT+01:00
No problem. I am happy for the interest about my early life in Hamburg. Cheers, Harry

Veröffentlicht am 23.03.2012 13:14:58 GMT+01:00
Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip 1,47

"It snowed on Christmas Eve day. It fell like icing sugar and dusted the city as if it were a stale and crumbling Christmas cake. The peddlers, black marketers, and cigarette hustlers scrambled to finish their commerce before the church bells pealed to celebrate the birth of Christ. Along the St. Pauli district, steam-powered trucks delivered beer and wine to the whorehouses, who expected exceptional business from nostalgic servicemen. Across the Reeperbahn, the lights burned bright, while in the refugee camps, the homeless huddled down against the cold, warming themselves with watery soup and kind words provided by visiting Lutherans priests.

The airport was somnolent; the service men charged with keeping it operational were as sluggish as a cat curled up on a pillow before a fire. Outside the communications tower, LACs took long cigarette breaks, draped in their great coats. In between puffs and guffaws, they swapped lewd jokes or tales about their sexual exploits with German women.
The air traffic control nest was unmanned for the next few days. The radio transmitters hummed emotionlessly because the ether above was empty and the clouds ripe for snow. Nothing was expected to arrive or depart until Boxing Day. On the ground, the roadways around the airport were quiet because the fleet of RAF vehicles was stabled at the motor pool for the duration of the holiday. Everywhere, it was still, except on the runway where a platoon of new recruits cleared snow from the landing area.

At the telephone exchange, the switchboard was staffed by a bored skeleton crew who waited for their shift to end. The normal frenetic noise and activity from hundreds of calls being patched and dispatched through the camp to the military world in Germany and Britain was hushed as there were few people left to either place or receive a call. Some communication operators hovered around mute teletype machines, which awoke every hour and furiously printed out wind speed, temperature, and ceiling levels, “For bloody Saint Nick,” someone remarked. "

Veröffentlicht am 03.04.2012 15:09:25 GMT+02:00
Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip 1,49

By Alexander Lukeman (NorCal) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
Amazon Verified Purchase
This review is from: Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip (Kindle Edition)
Hamburg 1947 is a rare bird, a genuine memoir that is honest and evocative. Harry Smith makes no apologies for who he is/was in 1947 and paints a picture of post-war Germany most people today know nothing about. It's revealing, funny and sad. It's a coming of age story, a story of love and youth, a story of a difficult time in England and the world. A very unusual book.

Veröffentlicht am 12.04.2012 15:23:16 GMT+02:00
Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip 1,49

A true story about a life lived on the razor's edge of history

When we entered the apartment, a sullen old man greeted me. It was the cuckolded grandfather. He snarled at me in unintelligible German.
“What’s up with him,” I asked.

“Oh, he is in one of his moods today. Isn’t that right, Opa?” she asked sarcastically.
Friede turned to me and explained,

“He has been on his hobby horse all day: About how everyone is stealing from him. How he never gets enough to eat. Stealing what?"

"He hasn’t had a pfennig to his name since 1913. Before you arrived, he screamed that Mutti and I showed him no respect. We were just illegitimate guttersnipes."

"I gave the ingrate an earful. I told him he was lucky Mutti let him stay here, considering he chucked her out at twelve years old."

“That is when he got nasty. Isn’t that right, Opa? You went on about how the Nazis knew how to do things and wouldn’t allow an old man to be treated like rubbish by the daughter of a whore.”

The unshaven old man sat on a wooden stool. He wore thick, uncomfortable woolen trousers held up by bulky suspenders. He looked as thin and as fragile as a tall blade of grass in the dry season. The old man muttered, “Thunder and lightning.”

“Harry, please give him a cigarette or else we will get no peace.”

I pulled out my cigarette case and offered him a Player’s. With shaking hands, he pulled one to his mouth. For a moment, our eyes met; his were filled with watery hatred for everything around him.

“Come,” Friede said. “Let’s get out of the kitchen. I don’t know how long we’ve got until the Gellersons come back. Bring a bottle of wine with you. We’ll take it to my room,” she said playfully.

It really wasn’t a room, but an alcove that housed a woodstove and a chaise lounge. The walls were thin and covered with heavy floral wallpaper. Along the wall, Friede had pinned up small photos of her girlfriends and glamour shots of German movie stars cut from defunct magazines published during the war.

We put some pillows behind our back and propped ourselves up on the day bed. We drank warm Rhine wine out of a shared coffee cup and ate slices of bread slathered thick with butter.

“Did you hear,” Friede said excitedly, “the British have started up Radio Hamburg again. So we can finally listen to jazz and dance music banned by the Nazis.”

I laughed and sipped back my wine. I thought these moments with her were the closest to paradise I had ever got in my short and squalid life. Lying beside Friede was like a wish come true from Aladdin’s lamp.

To me, she was as mysterious as the sphinx and as sensual as nightfall in an exotic garden. I clung tightly to the hope that my desire for her was more than physical want, and that her interest in me went beyond food parcels. Perhaps that was all we could demand from each other after a long war.

Maybe the best we both could hope from each other was the shared warmth from our curled up bodies and to forget the incinerated city waiting outside.

We finished half a bottle of wine and I sang silly songs. I made extravagant compliments to her eyes, her hair, her body, and her soul. After a while, we undressed each other. We made love on the chaise lounge, which was just large enough for us to hold each other tightly, in a selfish and generous longing.

For a long time, we remained in Friede’s small lair, while outside the thin shuttered door, the old man raged against the occupation, his life, and his new lodgings. The din slowly dissipated and faded into the background like a smudge on the wallpaper.

I must have dosed off because I woke to the nakedness of her back and the curve of her spine. I traced my fingers against her skin and noticed that just below Friede’s left shoulder; she carried a horrible discoloured scar.“What are you doing back there?” she asked in a sleepy voice.

“Nothing,” I replied nervously as if I had been caught eavesdropping.

“You are staring at my war wound, aren’t you?” she asked, turning over to kiss me on my forehead.

“Come on then, give us a cigarette,” Friede demanded, hungry for nicotine. She drew her knees up underneath the blanket and blew a smoke ring from her lit cigarette.

Veröffentlicht am 11.05.2012 13:49:56 GMT+02:00
Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip 0,89 euro cents This Weekend only

Harry Leslie Smith's second memoir, Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip is a love story in my mind and it's just brilliant. -Judging covers

The memoir is well written, with a compelling story that carried me along steadily. I like to find at least one reviewing pinprick, although it's difficult this time. The book ends with a cliff-hanger, making me wonder what came next. In all, I cannot recommend this memoir highly enough.-The Kindle Book Review
"I did not expect to have compassion for the German population after WWII, but I was shocked at the conditions the non-war-criminal average citizens of Germany lived with during the Occupation of the Allies in Germany"
Product Description
Twenty-two years old and ready for peace, Harry Leslie Smith has survived the Great Depression and endured the Second World War. Now, in 1945 in Hamburg, Germany, he must come to terms with a nation physically and emotionally devastated. In this memoir, he narrates a story of people searching to belong and survive in a world that was almost destroyed. Hamburg 1947 recounts Smith's youthful RAF days as part of the occupational forces in post-war Germany. A wireless operator during the war, he doesn't want to return to Britain and join a queue of unemployed former servicemen; he reenlists for long term duty in occupied Germany. From his billet in Hamburg, a city razed to the ground by remorseless aerial bombardment, he witnesses a people and era on the brink of annihilation. This narrative presents a street-level view of a city reduced to rubble populated with refugees, black marketers, and cynical soldiers. At times grim and other times amusing, Smith writes a memoir relaying the social history about this time and place, providing a unique look at post-WWII Germany. Hamburg 1947 is both a love story for a city and a passionate retailing of a love affair with a young German woman.

Veröffentlicht am 08.06.2012 18:15:47 GMT+02:00
Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip 0,89 euro cents

A True Story About a life lived on the razor's edge of history

Harry Leslie Smith's second memoir, Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip is a love story in my mind and it's just brilliant. -Judging covers

The memoir is well written, with a compelling story that carried me along steadily. I like to find at least one reviewing pinprick, although it's difficult this time. The book ends with a cliff-hanger, making me wonder what came next. In all, I cannot recommend this memoir highly enough.-The Kindle Book Review

One of the most worthwhile features of Hamburg 1947: a place for the heart to kip is its portrayal of life as a member of an occupying force in a conquered city... his descriptions of the devastated city have an unforgettable lyric beauty.-Indie E-Book Review

Veröffentlicht am 23.06.2012 15:17:00 GMT+02:00
Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip 0,89

One of the most worthwhile features of Hamburg 1947: a place for the heart to kip is its portrayal of life as a member of an occupying force in a conquered city... his descriptions of the devastated city have an unforgettable lyric beauty.-Indie E-Book Review

"I did not expect to have compassion for the German population after WWII, but I was shocked at the conditions the non-war-criminal average citizens of Germany lived with during the Occupation of the Allies in Germany"

The memoir is well written, with a compelling story that carried me along steadily. I like to find at least one reviewing pinprick, although it's difficult this time. The book ends with a cliff-hanger, making me wonder what came next. In all, I cannot recommend this memoir highly enough.-The Kindle Book Review

"As a regular vistor to Hamburg since the early 60's I thought this book might be of interest to me. Life in immediate post war Hamburg is very well described. The characters are written about in such a way I felt I knew them."

A wonderful story, exceptionally well written, I could not put it down."

Veröffentlicht am 27.06.2012 15:02:02 GMT+02:00
Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip 0,89

5.0 out of 5 stars Rivetting, 22 Jun 2012

By Johannsen "Krister" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip (Kindle Edition)
As a regular vistor to Hamburg since the early 60's I thought this book might be of interest to me. Life in immediate post war Hamburg is very well described. The characters are written about in such a way I felt I knew them.

A wonderful story, exceptionally well written, I could not put it down.

Veröffentlicht am 05.07.2012 14:51:02 GMT+02:00
Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip 0,89 euro cents

One of the most worthwhile features of Hamburg 1947: a place for the heart to kip is its portrayal of life as a member of an occupying force in a conquered city... his descriptions of the devastated city have an unforgettable lyric beauty.-Indie E-Book Review

" It's revealing, funny and sad. "
Alexander Lukeman | 3 reviewers made a similar statement
"
For me, perhaps, the most astonishing thing was to read about a post-war that I had never been taught and never even imagined. "
Vickie Adair | 2 reviewers made a similar statement
"
It gives us a glimpse into a little told part of the World War II story. "
Doug DePew | 1 reviewer made a similar statement

Twenty-two years old and ready for peace, Harry Leslie Smith has survived the Great Depression and endured the Second World War. Now, in 1945 in Hamburg, Germany, he must come to terms with a nation physically and emotionally devastated. In this memoir, he narrates a story of people searching to belong and survive in a world that was almost destroyed. Hamburg 1947 recounts Smith's youthful RAF days as part of the occupational forces in post-war Germany. A wireless operator during the war, he doesn't want to return to Britain and join a queue of unemployed former servicemen; he reenlists for long term duty in occupied Germany. From his billet in Hamburg, a city razed to the ground by remorseless aerial bombardment, he witnesses a people and era on the brink of annihilation. This narrative presents a street-level view of a city reduced to rubble populated with refugees, black marketers, and cynical soldiers. At times grim and other times amusing, Smith writes a memoir relaying the social history about this time and place, providing a unique look at post-WWII Germany. Hamburg 1947 is both a love story for a city and a passionate retailing of a love affair with a young German woman.

Veröffentlicht am 21.07.2012 18:51:19 GMT+02:00
Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip 0,89 euro cents

Harry Smith has written something you rarely find these days; a genuine, unpretentious and honest memoir that is at once a fascinating story of the early years in post-war Germany and a heart-felt coming of age love story-Goodreads Review

Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip is an account of Smith’s self-confessed ‘storm-tossed life’ whilst serving with the RAF as a wireless operator in Germany. Goodreads Review

Most books we read about WWII deal with the horrors of the war itself. Smith's Hamburg 1947 presents a horror less frequently highlighted - that of ordinary Germans trying to survive in post war occupied Germany. Goodreads Review

Veröffentlicht am 30.08.2012 15:32:18 GMT+02:00
Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip 0,89

By Moleyman69 - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip (Kindle Edition)

Admittedly this book is right up my street as I have always had a major interest in the 2 World Wars, however, this is a very refreshing change to the usual accounts of life on the front line during the conflict itself.

This memoir of Harry Smith follows his life from the end of the war based on an RAF base in Hamburg and provides a shocking insight into the plight of innocent German civilians in the years immediately after the war. It tells of the unending struggle to find enough food and other supplies to survive and how many German families were forced to barter all of their previous worldly possessions just to be able to eat.

The main part however, focuses on Harry's love for a young German girl, Friede and how he has to overcomes many obstacles and prejudices to further their relationship and to finally to be allowed to marry his true love.

I found Harry's bravery and determination to be very endearing and inspiring, it is to be remembered he was only 22 when the war ended, but showed maturity and bravery beyond his years to achieve his goal.

A thoroughly gripping read, I'm just sorry it ended where it did and hope Harry produces a follow up of this fascinating insight into life in post war Britain.

Veröffentlicht am 06.10.2012 15:48:21 GMT+02:00
Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip 0,89

By Dr. Albert Amedeus (Pomezia, Rome, 07, Italy)
★★★★★ June 21, 2012
a lovely story, with an intimate insight to the immediate Post War fate of Hamburg-Fuhlsbuettel and its inhabitants. I recognised all the landmarks, that I was to come across between Jan1970-Dec78, when I was stationed at the very same Airport. Our first son, Andrew, was born in Eppendorf Hospita... ...more

By Doug
★★★★★ July 02, 2012
I just finished "Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip", and I'm nearly speechless. I spent a couple years living in Germany decades after the author, but I still found many bits and pieces that seemed familiar. Harry Leslie Smith has written a masterpiece. The plotline is gripping, the narr... ...more
By Alex (The United States)

★★★★★ February 29, 2012
Harry Smith has written something you rarely find these days; a genuine, unpretentious and honest memoir that is at once a fascinating story of the early years in post-war Germany and a heart-felt coming of age love story. Hamburg 1947 was hard to put down. Smith's clean, honest prose and eye for... ...more

By Kirsty (Cambridge, The United Kingdom)
★★★★☆ January 13, 2012
Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip is an account of Smith’s self-confessed ‘storm-tossed life’ whilst serving with the RAF as a wireless operator in Germany. It details his time in the city of Hamburg directly after the end of the Second World War. His story begins in 1945 when he is twen... ...more

Veröffentlicht am 16.11.2012 15:22:09 GMT+01:00
Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip 0,89

4.0 out of 5 stars Hamburg after World War II 11 Nov 2012

It's an absolutely hair raising account of the conditions in that city after the war. Yes, if there was any food to be had it meant cuing for ages with ration cards of course. Or people could try to obtain something on the black markets or from farmers, bartering their valuable possessions for bits of food. - I wish more people would read books like this one to make them aware of the consequences of warfare, including demoralisation and hopelessness. -

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read 28 Aug 2012
By Moleyman69
Format:Kindle Edition
Admittedly this book is right up my street as I have always had a major interest in the 2 World Wars, however, this is a very refreshing change to the usual accounts of life on the front line during the conflict itself.

I found Harry's bravery and determination to be very endearing and inspiring, it is to be remembered he was only 22 when the war ended, but showed maturity and bravery beyond his years to achieve his goal.

A thoroughly gripping read, I'm just sorry it ended where it did and hope Harry produces a follow up of this fascinating insight into life in post war Britain.

5.0 out of 5 stars Heart-felt Memoir with a Difference - Review Copy! 28 Aug 2012
By FrancineHowarth

Format:Kindle Edition
A memoir with a difference, for this is no grand posturing account of post-war Hamburg (Germany) WWII as seen through the eyes of some famous general. This is a poignant and compassionate chronicle penned by a humble wireless operator serving in the Royal Air Force. No less brave than anyone else who fought and ducked and dived through the war years, Harry is suddenly a victor of war with distinct awareness to the plight of the defeated. A cigarette gifted here and there seems small compensation for the scenes of destruction all around him, not to mention people half-starved and scraping through the rubble for items that might - if traded with the victors - bring forth food.

Veröffentlicht am 19.12.2012 16:21:24 GMT+01:00
Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip 0,89

Christmas 1945, Hamburg
Stille Nacht

It snowed on Christmas Eve day. It fell like icing sugar and dusted the city as if it were a stale and crumbling Christmas cake. The peddlers, black marketers, and cigarette hustlers scrambled to finish their commerce before the church bells pealed to celebrate the birth of Christ. Along the St. Pauli district, steam-powered trucks delivered beer and wine to the whorehouses, who expected exceptional business from nostalgic servicemen. Across the Reeperbahn, the lights burned bright, while in the refugee camps, the homeless huddled down against the cold, warming themselves with watery soup and kind words provided by visiting Lutherans priests.

The airport was somnolent; the service men charged with keeping it operational were as sluggish as a cat curled up on a pillow before a fire. Outside the communications tower, LACs took long cigarette breaks, draped in their great coats. In between puffs and guffaws, they swapped lewd jokes or tales about their sexual exploits with German women.
The air traffic control nest was unmanned for the next few days. The radio transmitters hummed emotionlessly because the ether above was empty and the clouds ripe for snow. Nothing was expected to arrive or depart until Boxing Day. On the ground, the roadways around the airport were quiet because the fleet of RAF vehicles was stabled at the motor pool for the duration of the holiday. Everywhere, it was still, except on the runway where a platoon of new recruits cleared snow from the landing area.

At the telephone exchange, the switchboard was staffed by a bored skeleton crew who waited for their shift to end. The normal frenetic noise and activity from hundreds of calls being patched and dispatched through the camp to the military world in Germany and Britain was hushed as there were few people left to either place or receive a call. Some communication operators hovered around mute teletype machines, which awoke every hour and furiously printed out wind speed, temperature, and ceiling levels, “For bloody Saint Nick,” someone remarked.

This was a unique Christmas because for the first time since 1938, the entire world was at peace. So anyone who was able took leave and abandoned our aerodrome for a ten-day furlough. For those of us who remained, a Christmas committee was formed to organize festivities. The Yule spirit around camp mirrored row house Britain. It was constructed out of cut-price lager and crate paper decorations with the unspoken motto: “cheap but cheerful cheer in Fuhlsbüttel.” In the mess hall, a giant Christmas tree was erected dangerously close to a wood stove by the Xmas team. They had festooned it with glittering ornaments and placed faux presents underneath its boughs. Sleighs and Father Christmas figures cut from heavy paper were pinned to the walls as festive decorations. Mistletoe dangled from light fixtures and gave our dining hall the appearance of a holiday party at a carpet mill in Halifax.
On the morning before Christmas, I negotiated with the head cook for extra rations for Friede and her family to allow them a holiday meal. The cook was an obliging Londoner whose mastery of culinary arts began and ended with the breakfast fry up. Never one to saying no to sweetening his own pot, the cook amicably took my bribe of tailored shirts in exchange for food. He let me fill my kit bag to bursting with tinned meat, savouries, and sweets.
“Give the Hun a bit of a treat tonight,” he said. “Take the pork pie along with a bit of plum pudding.”

Veröffentlicht am 16.01.2013 18:39:29 GMT+01:00
The Empress of Australia: A Post-War Memoir 0,89

Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Read January 15, 2013
By Hannah Frey

The books weave together Harry's personal experience with history as we know it today. He was born in 1923 in England and lived in complete poverty growing up. His family situation was incredibly difficult his whole childhood. He joined the Royal Air Force during World War II and was stationed in Hamburg, Germany after the war. It was fascinating to see how people lived in Germany after the war--this was something I had absolutely never thought of. He also did a wonderful job of bringing the difficulties of the lower classes in England to light, and bringing us into the mindset of these people and to really understand their struggles and challenges.

Harry had so many hardships in his life, but managed to keep hopeful that life would get better. Harry is just a likable guy. I found myself rooting for him at every turn. He met and fell in love with a German woman in Hamburg and had many ups and downs in their relationship, from courtship, to marriage, to moving back to Halifax, England, and finally emigrating to Canada (that's where the story ends...for now. The author is working on the next volume!)

I couldn't put my kindle down while I was reading these three books! It's funny, because I'm a huge fan of Downton Abbey, and I kept thinking about the fact that Downton Abbey is set during the same time period that Harry was born and was growing up. Now yes, I know Downton Abbey is fictional, but it is based on real people--Here some people are living in such incredible luxury, and others are barely surviving. I guess the world today is much the same though. It's just amazing to think about sometimes

Veröffentlicht am 12.02.2013 16:50:15 GMT+01:00
Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip 0,89

5.0 out of 5 stars A WWII surprise, June 12, 2012
By The Kindle Book Review (Indianapolis, IN) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip (Kindle Edition)
I did not expect to have compassion for the German population after WWII, but I was shocked at the conditions the non-war-criminal average citizens of Germany lived with during the Occupation of the Allies in Germany. Young Harry Smith was in Germany for several years in the RAF, staying because he had no life to go back to in Britain. His childhood in Halifax was so dismal that even Germany during the Occupation looked better. As a man who dated and eventually married a German girl, Harry had a unique insight into the lives of the Hamburg citizens. He was an insightful and compassionate observer who was helped to see even more clearly by intimate contact with his girlfriend and her family. Food, clothing, cigarettes, everything was too scarce; people and animals starved. Much housing was lost through bombing, and tent cities sprang up, even through the bitter German winters. Mr. Smith single-handedly kept one Hamburg family alive.

The memoir is well written, with a compelling story that carried me along steadily. Mr. Smith is a life-long reader of good quality prose, a sort of self-taught tutorial that prepared him well for putting ink to paper. He has beautifully transcended his wretched, lower-class roots.

I like to find at least one reviewing pinprick, although it's difficult this time. The book ends with a cliff-hanger, making me wonder what came next. In all, I cannot recommend this memoir highly enough.

Mr. Smith provided me with a free copy of Hamburg 1947 for a review from the website Kindle Book Review.

-- Java Davis (Kindle Book Review)

Veröffentlicht am 19.03.2013 15:29:50 GMT+01:00
Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip 0,89

From a good reads review
Dr. Albert Amedeus Denzler von Botha's review
5 of 5 stars
a lovely story, with an intimate insight to the immediate Post War fate of Hamburg-Fuhlsbuettel and its inhabitants. I recognised all the landmarks, that I was to come across between Jan1970-Dec78, when I was stationed at the very same Airport. Our first son, Andrew, was born in Eppendorf Hospital, in 1970, the second, , at Wandsbeck Hospital, in 1973. As an Expat Brit, married to an Austrian lass, I feel a great deal of empathy for Harry and Frieda, two life size characters of a fascinating story. Having grown up in Bradford, between April 1947 and July 1958, during which time I served in RAF-ATC 2168 (Yeadon) Squadron and then seconded to RAF 24 (Lyneham and Northolt) Squadron, when I was Super.y Aircrew on the Berlin-Gatow/Warsaw run, and Singapore run, I also enjoyed his Yorkshire flashbacks and insights of daily RAF life. In my time as a pupil of an RC school, nothing much had changed. I've already started the "Barley Hole" Chronicles and find them intriguing. Well done lad, keep at it Harry, share your memories with us. Albert, like your Granddad.
ps my Mam, an Anglo-Italian widow of a Luftwaffe officer, remarried a Bradford RA lad in 1947, and at the grand old age of 7, in 1947, I became a Bradfordian.... talk about coincidences.
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