Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Locksmith

Very few memoirs interest me and so it goes I present before you all, The Locksmith by Lafe Metz (as told by Kurt Mann).

Here is the summary of the book:

Kristallnacht. Midnight. Sixteen-year-old Kurt Kann hurtles 300 miles across Germany on a motorcycle to protect his family from the unbottled fury of the Third Reich. But he arrives too late. Kurt finds their apartment ransacked and his family gone. His mother has been brutalized, his little brother traumatized, his father imprisoned in Dachau. With daring and ingenuity, Kurt suppresses his own terror to defy the Nazi regime in a desperate struggle to win his family's freedom and secure passage to America. Years later, as a Sergeant in the 203d Engineer Combat Battalion, Kurt leads his squad onto Omaha Beach. He marches across the continent, leaving dead Germans and broken hearts in his wake. Nothing will satisfy him but a final showdown with the Superintendent who betrayed his family that fateful night in November, 1938. In the battle for one man's soul, will Kurt succumb to blood lust and vengeance, or transcend cruelty and injustice to achieve understanding and something like love?

Told through the pen of Lafe Metz by Kurt Mann, it speaks of the locksmith - a true story of a young Kurt, Jewish in the Nazi Germany. Our tale begins in Kristallnacht hurrying home to in order to protect his family but he is a little bit too late. His apartments have already been searched and ransacked and his family in shambles with his father imprisoned in Dachau. Hearing of the wrong done upon his family Kurt is upset but rises to the occasion and is determined to get his father out of the concentration camp and avenge her mother's embarrassment.

After successfully getting his family to America through the bribe money they decide to start anew there. But trouble arises again with the pearl harbor under attack and revenge against the superintendent who had betrayed his family to the Nazis in mind, Kurt returns to Germany to attain his goal.

The two world wars were a difficult time, certainly I was not born then but I had read enough history books to know that war times are the harshest and WWII is well by far a disastrous time of the age. Nazi Germany were not only a ruthless bunch but every thing that had happened under Hitler's rule definitely does not paint Germany in good light and especially against the Jews there. So to get to read a true count of Mr. Mann who was successful enough to evade that and escape to America and there after returning to Germany as an American soldier, well the details speak for themselves - those were harsh times.

Although at times certain points could have used a bit more details but nevertheless the book truly had us transferred to the Nazi era and all of Kurt Mann's struggle against them in order to keep his family safe were awe-inspiring. A true encounter to look at.

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