“There comes a time when you have to choose between turning the page and closing the book.” Josh Jameson author of “A Patriot’s Plot.”
Kagan, Roberta, “All My Love, Detrick: A Historical Novel of Love and Survival During the Holocaust,” (first book of a 4 book series); self-published, Amazon Digital Services, LLC; published 1/14/2014; 339 pages, historical fiction.
“Detrick did not feel fortunate. In fact, he felt ashamed, ashamed of his people and the blood that ran in his veins. I should have been born a Jew, he thought as he straightened the collar of his Nazi uniform. Another day he must carefully cover his true feelings, another day he must live a lie” (page 210).
Detrick was born a German and lived as a young man during the reign of Adolf Hitler. Detrick was a perfect Aryan specimen for the new world order. But Detrick had a secret — one that could endanger his life and everyone around him.
Roberta Kagan is an American author who grew up in a home where her father is “Romany” and her mother “Jewish.” As a young child, Kagan learned about the Holocaust but could not understand “how something like this could happen.” As she grew older, Kagan began to research the history of World War II and the Holocaust.
Kagan met with children and grandchildren of survivors and SS officers. Kagan says, “I cannot say I have all the answers to all my questions even now. But what I do know is that soon all of the survivors will be gone. Their message must be remembered, the sacrifices that they have made must not be forgotten” (Amazon biography of Roberta Kagan).
“All My Love, Detrick” has an interesting collection of reviews. Some reviews were one star — no depth, no building of characters, inadequate or faulty facts, etc. — while other reviews were five stars — excellent character development, heart-rending story, could not put the book down, etc.
I personally enjoyed the book. It is an easy read, however, the story jumped from one event to another with little transition causing some confusion to the reader. I have this book on my Kindle, so I am not able to flip back and forth like you can with book-in-hand to check the identity of a forgotten character. Each chapter is two or three pages long causing a staccato pace.
“All My Love, Detrick” will never be a heavy hitter in the Historic Novel section at Barnes ‘n Noble, but you do get a taste of the horror that was acted upon a people who were truly hated by the Nazis. You will also witness the courage, resiliency and the human spirit of a people who have lived their entire lives with hatred at their front door. I will not put this book on my “Reread Book List,” but I do think there is value in the story that is told and worth reading at least once. I give this book 3 stars.
Have you ever wondered if your attitude during the day affects others? Being a minister, I think of this often. Does my attitude turn people toward or away from Jesus? Could I have made a difference — even for a moment — if I had been aware of what was going on around me?
I have a tendency of thinking about other things than about the person standing near me in line at the grocery store. Or I drive along and not notice the person standing on the side of the road.
Here in Waco, Texas there is a man who I have seen kneeling and praying on the sidewalk. I know that sounds weird! I believe he walks to other places and does the same thing. I wonder if the police ever stop and ask him “to move on!” One day I drove by this man, and he was sitting on the sidewalk watching traffic. I slowed down and waved to him. He raised his hand and had a little smile on his face as I drove by. Did I make a difference in his day? Do other folks wave and smile at him? Do they ignore him, or worse, do they taunt him?
I am the chairperson for a non-profit called Justice For Our Neighbors-Dallas/Fort Worth. JFON provides low-cost legal services for immigrants in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. I also am the editor of their newsletter and client update posts. (Go to http://www.jfondfw.org to read more.)
This week I sent out a Client Update report about a woman who had her “tourist visa” taken away from her at the U.S. border. Her family was in the U.S. and she was coming in to see them. I do not know all the details of the case, but the officer at the border confronted her taking her visa away; then sent her into the U.S. without a permit. I know this sounds crazy!!
For years this woman hid in the shadows very rarely going beyond her home. She and her family were afraid that she would be deported. Then one day she gathered up her courage and went to the Justice For Our Neighbors office and met with Staff Attorney Maria Macias.
Maria thought this was going to be a case that would end up in an immigration court. But when they attended the appointment at the Immigration Office, they found out that the officer never reported or wrote notes about the incident. “He must have had a grumpy day!” said the person they were meeting with.
Really …. “He must have had a grumpy day”???!!!!!! Because of his “grumpy day” this woman and her family lived every day under the fear of deportation. Because of his “grumpy day” her children and husband came home from school and work worried that she had been arrested and deported. How different this family’s life would have been if the immigration officer did not have a “grumpy day!”
In today’s environment, it seems OK to not care about others. It seems OK to say or do whatever we want and not think about how our “grumpy day” will effect others. What we say and what we do does affect those around us — even complete strangers.
There will never be peace for any of us if we don’t start caring about what we say and do. There will never be peace if we can’t give a smile and wave to a stranger. There will never be peace if we cannot find in ourselves the “love that passes all understanding” to others.
What is your “grumpy day” doing to those around you?
Today do something that will challenge you!
Hi, my friends and family,
Years fly by without necessarily having benchmarks. But this is not one of those years. My oldest granddaughter, Jordin, will graduate from Little Elm High School Friday evening, June 3rd. I am in awe of this young lady. She has met disaster and grief with great courage and maturity.
My husband and I have stood in for Jordin’s Dad, our son (Officer Dwayne Freeto), who was an Officer with the Fort Worth Police Department when he was killed while on duty. Jordin has taken this tragedy and turned it around to help others.
When you take time to listen to the young folks today, you begin to understand and hopefully be encouraged by the young folks who will one day take our place in the world. Our world is changing rapidly, and the new graduating seniors are ready to grow in knowledge and experience to take the reins.
It is a joy to watch their excitement. Tomorrow is a new day. We are blessed to have young adults who are looking to the future for us all. Happy Graduation to all those who are experiencing the joy of the day and the future.
Today do something that will challenge you!!