From Publishers Weekly
When the Sudetenland was returned to Czechoslovakia at the end of WWII, the former Austrian province, annexed by Hitler in 1938, became the site of "ethnic cleansing" as the Czech government expelled ethnic Germans and expropriated their property. An estimated 250,000 died and more than three million Sudetens became refugees. Among them was Helfert, then 14, and his newly widowed mother; his father, an industrialist, died in a botched operation for a bleeding ulcer shortly after their villa was confiscated. Mother and son eked out a living and narrowly avoided being arrested and taken to an internment camp where Sudetens and Germans died from torture and neglect. Expulsion led them to the U.S. occupation zone of Germany, and this poignant autobiographical memoir closes in 1950, when Helfert departs for America as an exchange student. A management consultant, former Harvard Business School teacher and author of a book on financial analysis, he views the Sudeten's extinction by a chauvinistic, vengeful Prague government as a precursor of contemporary tragedies involving mistreatment of ethnic minorities. Regrettably, by telling his harrowing personal story in a charged yet plodding style, with fictitious names, he considerably blunts its impact as a documentary. Photos.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
A poignant autobiographical memoir. -- Publisher's Weekly
The hard and depressing fate of the Sudeten Germans, which was also the fate of your family, will not be left or be forgotten. This especially means that we be made conscious of both the tragedy itself and its consequences, which extend even into our current time. Your [moving family chronicle] makes a good contribution to this end. -- Dr. Helmut Kohl, the Federal Chancellor, Federal Republic of Germany