By Heinrich Boll, Leila Vennewitz
A bright account of transforming into up bad, rebellious, and anti-Fascist in Nazi Germany
What’s to develop into of the Boy? is a lively, insightful, and fantastically sympathetic memoir approximately existence in the course of wartime written with the attribute brilliance via one of many 20th-century’s such a lot celebrated authors. it really is either an important autobiography of the Nobel Prizewinning writer and a compelling memoir of being younger and idealistic in the course of an age of worry and battle.
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Mirgeler was a kind, gentle person, one of the few disabled veterans who didn’t talk about his war experiences. One could feel he was on our side, not explicitly—that would have been too dangerous and we didn’t expect it of him. And of course one could always be sick on Saturday or get sick. With Mirgeler and several of the teachers, there was no need for explicitness, the expression on their faces was enough. ” If I were to say that, with the introduction of Schirach’s National Youth Day, the pressure was increased, it would be an exaggeration.
To this day I fail to understand why potato peelings, and not, say, sawdust or woodshavings. They had been carefully weighed, evenly distributed, packed in foil. (Contempt for wax seals, lead seals, bailiff’s seals, revenue stamps—also a kind of seal—ingrained in me by my mother, turned out, after the war, to be my undoing when I broke the seal of an electricity meter and tampered with it—unfortunately in a detectable manner. ) I was enjoined by my brother in future to check the goods and was still puzzling over how, since everything had to be done so quickly, when suddenly the entire smuggling operation was smashed.
Born in Cologne, in 1917, Böll was reared in a liberal Catholic, pacifist family. Drafted into the Wehrmacht, he served on the Russian and French fronts and was wounded four times before he found himself in an American prison camp. After the war he enrolled at the University of Cologne, but dropped out to write about his shattering experiences as a soldier. His first novel, The Train Was on Time, was published in 1949, and he went on to become one of the most prolific and important of post-war German writers.