This true story of a 19 and 20 year old pair of Jewish brothers fleeing Hitler and central Germany on their bicycles in 1933 is not only fascinating but is well written, accessible, and personal in its telling. The author writes, from extensive interviews and notes, the myriad adventures of her American father and uncle, Freddy and Rudy Kahn when they were German boys, Gottfried and Rudolf, relying on their wits to escape at first bullying then murderous Nazi youth, Hitlerjugend, in their home town of Giessen, just north of Frankfort. Running for their lives, they bicycled across the border into Switzerland, made it into France, then, by a set of impossible yet real circumstances, they fought against Franco in Spain, lived to make it back to France, and then managed to escape by the hairs of their chinny chin chins from the Gestapo in Paris ...You need to read the book to see how they got out of Europe in 1937 just before World War 2 fully cascaded into being.
Years ago, I had the good fortune of meeting Freddy Kahn,( the older brother) here in my home town in Arkansas because one of his Texas born sons is the godfather of my daughter. I had heard of Freddy and Rudy's escape from the Nazi's on their bicycles but had not known any details of the story until I read this very impressive book when it was first being edited.. The young Kahn brothers didn't just survive the holocaust, they PREVAILED. Against all the odds, those boys became men as they were persecuted people on the run and they eventually made it to the safe haven of the United States where they married, had children /grandchildren and led full, successful, happy lives that were denied to the millions who died in Europe. How lucky I am to have lived my life within the freedoms of the USA and how thankful I am to Pat Simons for getting her father and uncle's important story down in such readable form. Thank you to the Khan brothers, may they rest in peace.