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Brothers on the Run: Fleeing Hitler, Fighting Franco [Kindle Edition]

Pat Lorraine Simons
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $6.99
You Save: $7.96 (53%)

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Book Description

Based on a true story, Brothers on the Run takes you on a high-velocity ride across pre-World War II Europe. In 1933, two teenage Jewish brothers barely escape death at the Nazis' hands, only to find themselves crisscrossing Europe as refugees whose survival depends on their luck, daring, and wits. In 1936, when the US denies them entry, the boys enlist as foreign soldiers in the Spanish Civil War--a fateful decision that indelibly scars them, brutally delivers them into manhood, and serendipitously opens the door to freedom.

Editorial Reviews


"Remarkable tale...wonderful reading...Simons deserves a salute for getting inside the heads of two 20-something males--and for making their adventures such a delight to read." -St. Louis Post-Dispatch 
"A gifted storyteller...Parts read like a thriller...Even her notes make for good reading..." -St. Louis Jewish Light 

From the Author

When my uncle was dying of cancer, I spent several days recording his memories and those of my father, who was also an old man at the time. I'd heard versions of their amazing pre-World War II adventures all my life. But it was only when recording their stories in 1994 that I learned about my uncle's singular love affair in Spain; about what actually happened to my father's crippled right hand; and about many instances of their ingenuity, perseverance, wit, and luck. When I retired in 2009, I began to write this book, not only because I'd always wanted to, but because I want my grandchildren to understand why they are alive. I hope the book will stand as a tribute not only to two men who greatly inspired me, but as a tribute to the human spirit.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1205 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1479299081
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (April 28, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CKZ4O64
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #558,754 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
"Brothers on the Run" reminds us of the cruelty on the loose in Germany as it was pushing us into World War II, and of the love and daring of individuals that can appear when needed most. Simons recounts events that she learned about in talking with her father and uncle about their life in Germany during the years leading up to World War II. When barely 20 years old, the boys' lives were threatened by Nazi violence, and they were compelled by their mother to leave her and their father, a decorated World War I soldier in the German army. The two set out on bicycle across Europe on a journey that eventually brought them to life in America, but not until a number of years have passed evading capture, suffering injury and illness, and experiencing the loss of loved ones. Stories of this era are so often very powerful, but it is the intimacy of this one that makes it so touching and such a good read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pair of Good-Hearted Rogues May 5, 2013
By Sarah
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Growing up in El Paso with the author of this book I had no idea that her father and uncle had led such a fascinating life. I enjoyed this book because it provided a picture of two brothers that did not let the bigotry and anti Semitism of that time get in their way. What they had to overcome to get to the United States is remarkable and their journey across Europe and Spain and the friends that helped them along the way makes this a thrilling read. Could not put it down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing tribute to the human spirit May 4, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was very impressed by "Brothers on the Run" for several reasons.

First, it is an amazing story, and the fact that it's true makes it even more interesting.

Secondly, I was struck by the fact that Pat Simons, as the daughter of one of the two brothers on the run, was able to write a factual, even-handed history of their years staying one step ahead of the Nazi's. It would be very easy to insert your own emotions and prejudices after learning how your father and uncle were treated. Both boys were teens as they were forced to leave a loving home, not schooled in the ways of the evil world they were about to enter. The author was able to stay on the path of reporting the facts in a fictionalized manner free from her own personal feelings. She lets the facts speak for themselves - and they do, very loudly.

Thirdly, Pat has Notes at the end of her book explaining the historical significance of events portrayed in each chapter, complete with statistics. I learned many facts I didn't know about the events prior to the U.S. entering the war. This added greatly, giving a perspective to everyone's actions in the book, not just the two brothers.

Lastly, it is a wonderful book on many levels; fascinating to read, enjoyable to read (since you know they survive), and so well documented describing the changing face of Europe in the '30's. Truly an outstanding book!! Beautifully crafted.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Compelling Read April 14, 2013
Outstanding writing. The description I read of Germany in early 1933 and how it impacted ordinary citizens, Jews and non-Jews, and in particular the subjects of the story was compelling and thought provoking. I have read many books about that time since I studied it many years ago in college (including one by a best-selling author I am currently reading) and this is one of the best, if not the best. Her writing certainly made it come alive and has caused me, once again, to think about how I would have acted if placed in that situation. John (Little Rock)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great story great read
I had the pleasure in my life of having met and conversed with the Kahn brothers for a most lovely evening. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Stephen Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars Brothers on the Run
Brothers on the Run kept me reading constantly until I finished it. It was especially interesting because the brothers settled in our hometown, El Paso, Texas!
Published 3 months ago by Ina Lachmann
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, powerful story
The author did a great job weaving the story together. It felt like I was right there with Gotfried and Rudolph.
Published 5 months ago by Kevin
3.0 out of 5 stars Touching
I loved this story of two brother's journey trying to flee Hitler. It was amazing what they did to survive. However, I did not like the ending. Read more
Published 6 months ago by xx
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to believe
The story was very interesting. I knew the two brothers but had no idea what they had gone through to get to America. I did find the missing letters on words to be a pain. Read more
Published 6 months ago by F. Lerner
5.0 out of 5 stars It would make an epic movie.
I cold not put this book down. I believe the brothers complimented each other and could not have done it alone. Read more
Published 7 months ago by C. Fesler
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Reading!
Don't miss this exciting true story! The author takes us on a journey that is heart warming, tear jerking, funny, sad, extraordinary and all of it is true. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Fifi
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book of 2013
It is such an honest account of her Father and his brother during such a horrific time in history. I did not want this book to end
Published 8 months ago by frank gilchrist
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable
I really liked this book, it gives a interesting history of brothers fleeing Nazi Germany and their efforts to leave Europe to immigrant to the US.
Published 9 months ago by Robin C. Musselman
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Yet Often Entertaining Mix of Adventure and Peril
I could not put down this book, but also didn't want it to end. Lest you think there are no untold stories about Hitler's rise to power and its consequences, think of "A... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Susan Fadem
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More About the Author

Pat Lorraine Simons is a former trial lawyer and English teacher. She has published award-winning poetry and short fiction in magazines and anthologies. She also founded a nonprofit organization that inspires low-income children to become readers ( She lives with her husband in St. Louis, Missouri.


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