Loyal To A Degree

Loyal To A Degree

3.9 14
by Horst Christian
     
 

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A World War Two Historical Fiction Novel Based On A True Story

A young boy in Nazi Germany is forced to become a man well before his time or perish.

As 14-year-old Karl Veth listens to the German special OKW report, the news he has feared and anticipated becomes a reality. Russian tanks have broken through the German defense lines east of the KLV evacuation camp

Overview

A World War Two Historical Fiction Novel Based On A True Story

A young boy in Nazi Germany is forced to become a man well before his time or perish.

As 14-year-old Karl Veth listens to the German special OKW report, the news he has feared and anticipated becomes a reality. Russian tanks have broken through the German defense lines east of the KLV evacuation camp in Poland where he and 120 other German boys are living. The time has come to leave the camp and return to Berlin.

Despite his young age, Karl is a trained member of the Hitler Jugend (Hitler Youth) and the assistant to KLV camp leader. Due to injuries sustained in battle, the camp leader is handicapped and unable to see to the evacuation of the boys from the camp. The job falls squarely on Karl's shoulders as orders come from headquarters putting him in command of the mission. He must refine and execute an evacuation plan that will reunite the boys with their families and he must do it on his own. Berlin has no soldiers to spare.

Once back in Berlin, Karl is reunited with his good friend and fellow Hitler Jugend member, Harold. The two boys are close and share a common bond - they are both "subway rats." They earned the nickname because of the time they spent playing in and exploring the subway tunnels under Berlin when they were younger. They are experts when it comes to the subway system but little do they know that their unique knowledge of the tunnels will put them in grave danger.

When SS leaders learn that Karl is a subway rat, they take advantage of his knowledge and order him to act as a guide for SS demolition commandos in the tunnels. Having been relieved of his previous post, Harold is ordered to assist Karl. The SS cannot be trusted and Karl walks a fine line between life and death as he follows orders while working on a secret plan with Harold. The fall of Berlin is imminent and it's only a matter of time before the Russians take over the city.

Facing death at every turn, Karl must use his wits simply to stay alive. As the chain of command breaks down, the SS starts conducting court martials on the fly, executing anyone with a single bullet in their pocket. Meanwhile, the nightly air raids continue, scorching the city and leaving the stench of death in the air. Chaos reigns as the Russian Army moves closer and closer.

As a member of the Hitler Youth growing up, Karl has been taught that loyalty to the Fatherland comes first, yet he is fighting for a cause he does not understand. In the final days before Berlin falls, Karl finds himself hungry, scared, and completely disillusioned with the war. He also realizes that he can only afford to be loyal to a degree as he is forced to make a crucial decision - live or die.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781491068137
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
08/12/2013
Pages:
328
Sales rank:
753,113
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.73(d)

Meet the Author

Horst Christian was born in Berlin, Germany in 1930. His father, a mathematician and a banker, taught him to read and write before the age of 5. He discovered his love for writing by the time he was 10 years old and wrote vacation reports and several articles for the German school periodical "Hilf Mit."

When Horst was 10, he entered the "Jungvolk," a subdivision of the Hitler Youth, which was mandatory in the Berlin school system. He then entered the Hitler Youth at the age of 14, also mandatory, and continued writing for the Hitler Youth periodicals "Der Pimpf" and "Die Deutsche Jugend Burg."

His favorite pastime was playing in the U-Bahn (subway) tunnels. While other children played soccer, Horst, with a few other likeminded children, explored Berlin by riding the subway trains.

Drafted to help defend Berlin against the Soviets at the age of 14 because of his unique knowledge of the subway system, he served as a guide for various SS demolition commandos.

In the early 1950s, Horst immigrated to the United States and became a US citizen after the mandatory 5-year waiting period. He loves to travel and has visited all 50 states in the US, most of Europe, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and some Central American countries. He now resides with his wife Jennifer of 41 years, in Northern California, where he has been for the last thirty years.

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Loyal To A Degree 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book took me to emotions of all kinds. I found my heart racing at times, and even had to stop reading to process the emotions brought on by this book. Thank you for taking the time and emotional rememberance to bring an awareness to others the plight that the children of this war endured.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Story: facinating. Story telling: weak, dry, factual. It is like reading a newspaper.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is listed as first of the series "....to a Degree", but read the prequel first, "Children to a Degree" as it sets the background. "Loyal" gives an account of WWII from the eyes and actions of a Hitler youth up to the overrun of Berlin by the Russians/Soviets. Very informative and I could hardly put this book down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it. Its a must read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bittysmom More than 1 year ago
I loved this whole series.  Highly recommend them for anyone who likes to learn about World War II
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KevinCarney More than 1 year ago
Wow! Amazing story told by an excellent story teller!!!! I'm sorry it's about. I'm about to buy the second book in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JKathleen More than 1 year ago
I have really enjoyed experiencing what so many young men faced in Hitler's Germany, and here we are right on the front lines, in Berlin at the end of the war and shortly after. Fascinating! This is a must read and learn about series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I took a chance on this and so glad I did. It is a fabulous account of a 14 yr old's experience in the German military. So many things Americans don't know. The boy, Karl, is a wonder. I will be getting the sequel and will write to the suthor to let him know how much I have enjoyed this book.