The Hands of War: A Tale of Endurance and Hope, from a Survivor of the Holocaust

The Hands of War: A Tale of Endurance and Hope, from a Survivor of the Holocaust

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by Marione Ingram, Keith Lowe
     
 

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Marione Ingram grew up in Hamburg, Germany, in the late 1930s and early 1940s. She was German. She was Jewish. She was a survivor.  This is her story.

As a young girl, Marione was aware that people of the Jewish faith were regarded as outsiders, the supposed root of Germany’s many problems. She grew up in an apartment building where neighbors were more

Overview

Marione Ingram grew up in Hamburg, Germany, in the late 1930s and early 1940s. She was German. She was Jewish. She was a survivor.  This is her story.

As a young girl, Marione was aware that people of the Jewish faith were regarded as outsiders, the supposed root of Germany’s many problems. She grew up in an apartment building where neighbors were more than happy to report Jews to the Gestapo. Marione’s mother attempted suicide after receiving a deportation notice—Marione revived her, but then the bombs started to fall, as the Allies leveled the city in eight straight days of bombings. Somehow Marione and her mother and sister survived the devastating firestorms—more than 40,000 perished, and almost the same numbered were wounded.

Marione and her family miraculously escaped and sought shelter with a contact in the countryside who grudgingly agreed to house them in a shed for more than a year. With the war drawing to a close, they went west, back to Hamburg.  There they encountered Allied troops, who reinstalled the local government (made up of ex-Nazis) in order to keep order in the country. Life took on the air of what it used to be. Jews were still second-class citizens.

Marione eventually took shelter at a children’s home in a mansion once owned by wealthy Jewish bankers. There she met Uri, a troubled orphan and another one of the “Children of Blankenese.” Uri’s story, a bleak tale of life in the concentration camps, explores a different side of the Nazi terror in Germany.

In this stirring account of World War II through the eyes of a child, the author’s eloquent narrative elicits compassion from readers. 

Editorial Reviews

New York Journal of Books
“[Ingram’s] memoir is extremely well developed, well researched, and delivered with vivid, animated description. She induces a depth of passion into her childhood memories, an aspect lacking in many memoirs.”
Kirkus Reviews
A Holocaust survivor's novelistic account of persevering through the horrendous firebombing of her hometown of Hamburg, Germany. Finely delineated details distinguish this memoir by Hamburg native Ingram, now an artist living in Washington, D.C. At age 8, in the summer of 1943, the author had to grow up fast: With her father coerced into working for the Luftwaffe in Belgium (he was beaten and pressured to divorce his Jewish wife), the author narrowly saved her mother from committing suicide by gassing herself in the apartment's oven. Her mother was in despair after having received their deportation notice, and she was still reeling from the earlier deportations of her nearest relatives to occupied Russia. Almost immediately, however, the bombs began to drop around the neighborhood, and their apartment building crumbled, forcing mother and daughter to take to the streets to find safety. Here, Ingram inserts some staggering details, such as her mother's hostile confrontation with the block's air-raid shelter warden, who refused admittance to Jews and their rejection as well by the church. Having to keep moving through the scene of incendiary horror probably saved them. For the next 18 months, they managed to hide out on a nearby farm owned by a rather objectionable woman, Frau Pimber, who had earlier been entrusted with the care of Ingram's middle sister, Helga, graced with "Aryan" looks, fair hair and eyes. A closing chapter encapsulates the harrowing survival tale of a youth Ingram met at the Blankenese refugee school who had been nearly worked to death at a slave-labor camp run by the "Cannon King," Alfried Krupp. A well-honed tale of momentous courage and strength.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781626361874
Publisher:
Skyhorse Publishing
Publication date:
02/22/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
482,064
File size:
5 MB

Meet the Author

Marione Ingram is a writer, artist, and civil rights activist who survived the Holocaust, the fire-bombing of Hamburg, Germany, and the incendiary efforts of Mississippi’s Ku Klux Klan. She immigrated to the United States and, having experienced racial discrimination in Europe, became engaged in the civil rights movement. Excerpts of her work have been published in The Best American Essays of 2007 anthology, Granta, and Women Writers: A Zine.

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The Hands of War: A Tale of Endurance and Hope, From a Survivor of the Holocaust 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A moving account of a young Jewish girl and her mother, who defy the odds to survive both the Nazis, and the allied bombing of their hometown (Hamburg). It is more than a story of personal survival, however, it is also a fascinating historical account of how the city itself endures...as well as a damning account of a German industrial complex that no only profited on slave labor in war time, but also through U.S. post war complicity. Highly recommended.