Well, the fourth book, Partners To A Degree, is finally finished. I say ‘finally’ because I rewrote the book several times. On one hand I needed to end the story of Karl and on the other hand I wanted to report about Harold and his experiences during the historical events of the first few weeks of the Russian occupation. This second part was not so easy because I had to rely on the notes which I kept from my later meetings with Harold, and on the reports I received from him over the years. So, I am sorry to say, it took several rewrites to get it right and to include the vital parts of the story. And, just like the first three books, the story is true and all of the characters as well as the places existed.
Now the book is off and in the hands of my trusted assistant, Chris Haas. She did again the cover art as well as the formatting and even the final editing. Her help is truly priceless and according to her latest email we should be ready to hit the publish button today.
Oh, yes, the cake. I knew you would ask. I always reward myself with a cake.
They can keep the meat and the fishes and the vegetables where ever they want. I will take a cake anytime and as a former pastry chef, it is not much of a challenge. However, I don’t use any recipes. When I obtained my master designation in Germany you were not allowed to use a recipe during the test. Besides, you would be barred immediately from continuing the two day test. You were eligible to apply for the test after three years as an apprentice and five years as a journeyman. Therefore, you came to the master committee with eight years of experience and using a recipe was a sure sign of incompetence.
For today I decided on a pound cake filled with french butter cream and you are welcome to join me. The pound cake is simply what the name suggests. Pound for pound:
1 pound butter, 1 pound sugar, 1 pound eggs, 1 pound flour. Whip up the butter and sugar, add the eggs one at a time (Either about 15 egg yolks or 10 whole eggs.) Add the flour, bake at 375 for one hour.
French butter cream: 1 pound powdered sugar, 1 pound butter, eight egg yolks. Whip butter and powdered sugar, add the yolks, ( one at a time) Don’t forget some rum or brandy flavor.
I enjoyed the three books which I got on my Kindle Fire recently. I’ve always been interested in WWII history, but had never read anything about children in Germany and their families in Germany during the war. The friendship and exploits of Karl and Harold were amazing. I long suspected, Mr.Christian, that you were ‘Karl.’ I also enjoyed the subtle humor being expressed in spite of those awful times. Alex certainly was a good bodyguard to have in those times!
What happened to your parents, brother and sister and Harold’s father later on? Do you and Harold have families of your own in the U.S. and Russia? What became of Alex? Did General Gudonuv continue to be Harold’s benefactor? I was not aware of Russians being either friendly or kind!
Whoever is doing the Kindle versions needs to be a little more accurate and careful. Some typos and wrong word for the word intended are in there. Overall, I really enjoyed the books and I’m looking forward to hear more about Harold.
I know that I answered your comment.
Please check the other threads.
I did leave a Comment. Maybe I put it in the wrong place.
Three excellent books…so far!
I really loved this book. I stumbled on to it by accident and now I plan to read the other three books. I have been enthralled by history since childhood,especially World War 2. This book is the only other book I have read that tells the story of the War from the prespective of a young person wholived it.
I just read Maura Pape’s comment and I,too,am curious about the questions she raised. Were they not answered in your fourth book?
The only other book I have read about the youth in Germany during the war is “Mischling,Second Degree” by Ilse Koehn. Her view of the youth camps was so stark compared to yours, I look forward to reading the remainder of your books to compare her version of the fall of Eastern Germany to yours.
Thank you for sharing your stories with the rest of the world.
Yes, I know that I answered “Maura Pape’s” question, and yes they were also answered in my fourth book.
Besides there are several “threads” on this website below some of my posts.
The experiences of the children evacuation camps were most certainly different for the given participants.
The age group of the children, as well as the location of the camps and most of all the individuals responsible for the orderly conduct in the camps led to the different experiences.
To be sure: There was no normal conduct when the adults (teachers) were mostly thinking about their own comfort and safety.
Should you have any specific questions, Virginia, please let me know and I will try and answer.
Take good care,
I’ve read many books on WWII but never one from the perspective of a child or should I say a young adult. I read them one after the other on Nook but realized that for some reason Loyal to a Degree is not available on Nook. Even though I have read the others, I plan to backtrack and read that, too. I must know what I missed! I hope to find out more about Harold also.What an interesting life you have lived. I hope you are happy and well.
Thank you for your kind comments.
The book “Loyal to a degree” will be available again on “Nook” after December 1st.
Presently it is only available on Amazon.
Yes, I am presently working on my first book about Harold and hope to have it published before the end of the year.
I know that I should write a lot faster, but, sorry to say that this summer was a bit difficult which meant it interfered
with my writing. A lot.
Hopefully this will change during the next months.
Thanks again for your interest,
Dear Mr. Christian,
I had an extremely fascinating past weekend. I read all four of your books back to back. I would like to very much thank you for writing them.
I have been fascinated with WWII since I was a child and have read many titles and watched several documentaries in this regard. Many times before I wondered to myself what I would have done if I was a German citizen in Berlin during the final weeks of the war.
I was born (1966) and grew up in South Africa and came to the US in 1997. I toured Europe with a backpack (very little money) for 6 months during 1990 and also visited Berlin and Prague during that interesting time. I find it surprising and annoying to learn about the ignorance and indifference a lot of our fellow citizens have in regard to really what happened in Germany prior to and during WWII. Many times I had to defend and explain what the ordinary German had to suffer during this period. Your books do this in excellent fashion.
It is amazing to see how resourceful and innovative Karl and Harold were during this time. Having to survive obviously had a lot to do with it. It is noteworthy though that a lot of good things happened and doors opened to you because of your good deeds to others.
What a pity you never saw your wise grandfather (who unfortunately could not keep quiet) again.
I cannot wait to read your coming book(s) about what further happened to Harold and his dad as well as Karl and his family. I also gave the books to my 15 year old son to read and he is learning a lot from them. The topics spawns very good father / son discussion.
P.S. I assume Alex really addressed you as “Ho-Ho”? 🙂
Please excuse my delay in responding to your comment.
Somehow I am running out of time. During the last few weeks it seemed that “Life” was determined to change the best laid plans.
But, this does not mean that I did not appreciated your kind remarks and I am very pleased to read that my books gave you topics to discuss with your son. Just to be on the safe side: In no possible way do I mean to indicate that our informative years where in any way better than today’s. But, they sure were different and in hindsight I learned some lessons which guided me safely through my life.
You, Nico, as well as other readers, mentioned that I did good deeds to others. Thank you, but, I like to point out that these so called good deeds originated with a very self serving attitude. Somehow, in my childish thinking, I believed firmly that as long as I cared for others, some other people would care for my siblings and parents.That’s all. By no means a saintly motive.
But, it worked.
And, …. Alex called me “Ko Ho”. Go and figure.
In the meantime I am writing two (2) books at the same time.
One, is the beginning of the Harold series and the other is about Karl’s path to the USA and the very first culture shocks. There were many and some I still marvel about. I sincerely hope that you will find these books just as interesting as the present ones and if I get off in a rant ….
please don’t hesitate and let me know.
Thanks again, Nico, and all the best to you and your son,