09 August 2009

The Forger

I finished another book on WWII last night. The Forger: An Extraordinary Story of Survival in Wartime Berlin by Cioma Schonhaus is an astounding story. It sounds so improbable.

Schonhaus is a young man, just 19 in 1941 Berlin. There's a good bit of a young man's bravado in his adventures. Before the war he was an art student. Through various connections he gets a job at a munitions factory so he just barely escapes being deported with the rest of his family. He even manages to do a bit of sabotage. Then, he begins forging passports, id papers and stamps on legitimate articles to help other Jews survive. Even though he is technically underground, he buys a sailboat, goes out with girls, drinks and parties. He becomes a wanted man under two different aliases yet, after forging his own set of papers, he bikes down to the Swiss border and essentially walks across. amazing.

The writing is a bit patchy. there aren't a lot of clear transitions between times and places. So at times it's a bit hard to follow. Kind of like a stream of consciousness at times. I liked it overall and give it a 5. It also counts as one for the World Citizen Challenge, under the Memoirs/Autobiography category. yay!


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