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Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip by [Smith, Harry Leslie]
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Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Length: 192 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews


Harry Leslie Smith's second memoir, Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip is a love story in my mind and it's just brilliant. -Judging covers

One of the most worthwhile features of Hamburg 1947: a place for the heart to kip is its portrayal of life as a member of an occupying force in a conquered city... his descriptions of the devastated city have an unforgettable lyric beauty.-Indie E-Book Review  
"I did not expect to have compassion for the German population after WWII, but I was shocked at the conditions the non-war-criminal average citizens of Germany lived with during the Occupation of the Allies in Germany"
The memoir is well written, with a compelling story that carried me along steadily. I like to find at least one reviewing pinprick, although it's difficult this time. The book ends with a cliff-hanger, making me wonder what came next. In all, I cannot recommend this memoir highly enough.-The Kindle Book Review

From the Author

It is autumn, the wet and damp time. I can already feel the approaching cold and heavy breath of the frozen months upon the nape of my neck. If I survive, this will be my eighty-ninth winter on this Earth. Some say age brings wisdom, reason, serenity. I say bollocks; great age brings rheumatism, deafness, vascular degeneration, and organ failure. So far, I have been lucky and my body has endured my storm-tossed life, healthy and intact. It is a blessing I appreciate and honour every morning by performing the graceful movements of tai chi which provides me the balance to combat the punishment great age bestows on those who dare to live so long. We suffer the irretrievable loss of love, through death. We abide the profound loneliness of age as friends and lovers disappear from our grasp and are replaced with static photographs mounted high up on our fireplace mantel. I don't ask for condolences or your pity because I have felt an elemental chart of wondrous emotions during my life. I have experienced the very best and the very worst that mankind has to offer. I have loved and been loved and that is a great matter. It is all that should matter. It is all that must matter, even to you, dear reader. So as I walk into the fourth season of life, I say accept love as it comes and accept love as it goes because it is the only currency that never devalues us. 
I leave you now with a small piece of my life; my time in Germany following the last Great War. It is a simple story about people searching to belong and survive in a world that was almost destroyed.
Harry Leslie Smith

Product Details

  • File Size: 588 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Barley Hole LLC; Second Edition edition (May 9, 2012)
  • Publication Date: May 9, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008216N7S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,275,323 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
In Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip, I found myself reading a love story. Harry tells his story of meeting and falling in love with Friede, a young German girl, with a realistic poignancy that I have seldom found in the written word. Reading his words about about the young girl who would become his wife and share half a century with him, I remembered for the first time in decades what young love was like. I remembered it just as he described it, "It was primal, it was emotional, and it was natural...." For anyone who loves a love story that depicts truth instead of trite romance, this book is a must read.

But even more, this book is a love story between a man and a place that existed in the restraint of a given time. The place is no longer the place it was, and that time is now long past. But, that love still lives strong, and is now captured forever in the pages of this book. For me, perhaps, the most astonishing thing was to read about a post-war that I had never been taught and never even imagined. Being an American, I have been taught that we and our allies were the "good" guys. Now I know that innocent people, children, mothers, and old people suffered at the hands of the Allies for simply having been born where they were born. I know that, "Friede and her family lived off a soup that tasted like rainwater and ate bread made from animal feed." Such hardships were the result of Allied occupation. This knowledge has given me a greater understanding of the long-term horrors of war, any war, that continue long after the last shot has been fired.
I've never met Harry Leslie Smith, but, I feel like I know him, that in someway I've shared his experiences, and that he's taken me on a journey through a great depression in England and a war in Europe. I would recommend this book to anyone!
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Format: Kindle Edition
A memoir with a difference, for this is no grand posturing account of post-war Hamburg (Germany) WWII as seen through the eyes of some famous general. This is a poignant and compassionate chronicle penned by a humble wireless operator serving in the Royal Air Force. No less brave than anyone else who fought and ducked and dived through the war years, Harry is suddenly a victor of war with distinct awareness to the plight of the defeated. A cigarette gifted here and there seems small compensation for the scenes of destruction all around him, not to mention people half-starved and scraping through the rubble for items that might - if traded with the victors - bring forth food.

As Harry breathes the stale air of Hamburg's war torn streets his heart-felt words reach out to a reader, yet occasional flashbacks also reveal Harry's life before the war, which is not unlike that of the German people for whom he soon provides more than mere cigarettes. Out of this friendship comes love, and young love knows no bounds. On the other hand bureaucracy and military intervention can prove testing and humiliating, more so when military personnel wish to marry an alien. For despite war at end the enemy remains the enemy: therefore alien. Although triumph of marriage prevails, there is still the ordeal of a German bride to be presented to friends and family! This is a well-written eye-opening memoir with touches of humour and amusing dialect so very typical of a lad from Yorkshire (England).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just finished "Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip", and I'm nearly speechless. I spent a couple years living in Germany decades after the author, but I still found many bits and pieces that seemed familiar. Harry Leslie Smith has written a masterpiece. The plotline is gripping, the narrative flows, and the dialogue is stark. This memoir is beautifully written. He sets scenes with such detail that I felt as if I was experiencing the story with him. It's just a great book.

I truly got to know Harry, Friede, and the other characters as this story progressed. It gives us a glimpse into a little told part of the World War II story. Prior to this account, I knew almost nothing about life in the British zone of occupation Germany. Mr. Smith has given us a rare gift by telling his story and I recommend it to anyone with an interest in WW-II history or a good love story.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Harry Leslie Smith doesn't need to invent heartache, the misery of unrequited love, penury or suffering because he's lived it. Hamburg 1947 is the poignant account of his life just after the end of World War Two, in Hamburg. As a radio operator for the RAF he knows that his life in Germany is going to be secure and safe, as opposed to the likelihood of unemployment and hardship back in Yorkshire, so he gets his service time extended. This is also because he's fallen in love with beautiful Elfriede, a German girl with secrets. But the authorities don't allow fraternisation with the enemy, even thought the war is over. So Harry struggles to square the circle. In the course of this we see Germany from the eyes of a compassionate serviceman who has suffered and seen suffering, who's under no illusions about the harm the German people visited upon the rest of the world, yet feels compassion for those same stoical Germans who are now at rock bottom, pressing their youth into hazardous factory jobs and struggling to build themselves back up as a nation, now under the control of nations they so recently sought to extinguish. Eternal truths are displayed: that black marketers always win out, and being righteous doesn't find food for an empty stomach. Most of all that a vein of bizarre stupidity runs through the fortunes of the cleverest schemes of man, and that good or bad fortune overrides all our endeavours to a greater or lesser extent. That being decent and muddling through is about the most that any of us can aspire to.Read more ›
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