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Eyes are Watching, Ears are Listening: Growing up in Nazi Germany 1933-1946 Hardcover – February 10, 2008
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About the Author
Eycke (Laabs) Strickland was born in Germany in 1933. She survived the chaos of World War II and emigrated to the United States with her American-born husband, Charles Strickland, in 1958. After retiring from teaching at Emory University in Atlanta, she and Charles have made their home on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.
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Top Customer Reviews
The reader will see glimpses of Oskar Schindler in the story of the author's father, Karl Laabs, and of his efforts to save Jewish people. I was also reminded of parts of Elie Wiesel's memoir of what the chaos of post World War II life in Germany meant for those who endured it. The story of Karl Laabs and of his daughter's attempt to understand her father who was a true but humble hero can profitably be read along with that of a novel by Ruth Rehmann "The Man in the Pulpit: Questions for a Father" which is a German novelist's own exploration of her own Evangelical (Lutheran) father's silence during the Holocaust. Why did one seemingly quite secular man act with great moral courage while a very devote and pious man say and do nothing at all in the face of great evil?
"Eyes are Watching, Ears are Listening" speaks tenderly and compassionately about how Strickland's family of origin lived with grace and dignity and humor through the darkest of days. The integrity, deep spirituality and intellectual insights that Ms. Strickland's mother shared with and instilled in her family deeply shape and inform the author's work and life.
This is a well written, compelling story about what is best in the human spirit. Everyone will profit from reading it.
At no time does Eycke idealize or simplify people. The adults around her, including her father, are deeply flawed. The school teachers who embrace Nazi academics appear as complicit as any of the gossiping wives who turn her mother into the Gestapo for expressing the "wrong sort" of ideas. There are an abundance of grey areas through this narrative of personal experience: neighbors who look the other way as the German occupation drags thousands of Polish and Jewish locals to their imprisonment and death. Throughout the narrative, Eycke permits us to see how the Nazi ideology permeated daily life, creating an ambience of fear and uncertainty, the inability to trust anyone outside the immediate family. Readers with some background in this period will find the details relevant and fascinating. For readers just beginning to understand this time, the book is a welcome introduction.