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A Ribbon in Many Lights


A Ribbon in Many Lights

Arthur was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa in 1931, and lived on a remote farm with his parents and brothers. We learn of a shy sensitive boy who thrives in the dreamlike sunlight of 1930s South Africa. His parents were of German origin. They decided to return to Germany due his father's poor health . But they picked the wrong time: they arrived in July 1939, to Berlin, just before the Second World War began. Abruptly, Arthur was swallowed up by things that were beyond his control. Between the ages of eight to sixteen, he was subjected to the horrific darkness that was Nazi Germany, and its immediate aftermath. What followed for Arthur was a decade-long waking nightmare. Like all other boys and girls his age, it was compulsory for him to be part of the Hitler Youth. In this organization, he was subjected to indoctrination into the Nazi ideology, ideology which he (and the rest of his family) never really subscribed to. Then, because of the effects of the war, he was subjected to increasing hardship and displacement and hunger and then separation from his parents. For several years during and just after the war, he was relocated away from Berlin, and lived with his brother and other boys in school camps at the edge of the Baltic Sea. These camps were relocated many times, and after the war they became refugee camps. Then there was the death of his father just after the end of the war. After the remaining family was reunited in early 1947, there was extended poverty, hunger, and further displacement in the ruins of postwar communist East Berlin. His experiences, while unique to a particular period of mid-20th century history, will resonate with any refugee who has lived through war and its aftermath. Unlike the raw emotion that is common in many modern memoirs, rarely is this story of trauma recounted in anything more than a matter-of-fact voice. And then, as suddenly as it began, the nightmare ended around 1950. Almost the remainder of Arthur's life, at least as he tells it, seems more peaceful, if not still itinerant. We learn of his young adulthood in South Africa, and his university days both there and in the United States. We learn of how the promise of a good job brought him to Toronto, Canada, followed by a rather quiet happy life with his family in Toronto and Etobicoke, Ontario.

  • ISBN: 9781775302216
  • Author: Arthur Mittermaier
  • Published: 2018-04-03 22:50:11
  • Words: 69089
A Ribbon in Many Lights A Ribbon in Many Lights