"When did I realize that I was not just another German child, that I was merely tolerated, later reviled, and finally cast out?"

The author's long journeying took him across the globe and into the innermost regions of mind and heart, striving to understand the shattering effects of the Nazi regime on him and his German homeland. As a young child, he had Christian or "Aryan" friends in his Wittenberg neighborhood, not yet grasping his family's social isolation. By age ten, he knew it was "all but mandatory" to greet passersby with "Heil Hitler," as Nazi operatives ensured that Jews obeyed new, onerous regulations. Once, his family's home was invaded by thugs who destroyed their furniture and possessions. Weiner's parents applied for asylum, first in England and finally in the U.S., where immigrants sailing into New York's harbor "dropped to their knees in tears" upon seeing the Statue of Liberty. The author made good use of his U.S. education and military service and has revisited Germany more than once. Though considered fortunate to have escaped the worst Nazi horrors, Weiner spent years grappling with his trauma through psychoanalysis, religious exploration, and finally, forgiveness.

Weiner decided to begin writing his recollections in his eighties after being invited to give a speech for The ManKind Project, a global training and empowerment organization from which he has derived much inspiration. His riveting autobiography touches on the many ways in which Nazism affected not only the Jewish population but also ordinary Germans who fell in with its ideology. An especially moving encounter with a former school acquaintance asking his forgiveness demonstrates the author's developed ability for self-healing, along with his 2010 designation as an honorary citizen of Wittenberg. Weiner's well-constructed memoir is both personal confession and communal outreach, a reminder that though one can suppress troubling memories, they may reappear in multiple guises until one summons the courage, as he has, to examine and absorb them.

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