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Hermann’s Ruhe

By Karin Harrison

With her husband away fighting a futile war Helen, her three children and her elderly parents struggle to survive every single day. The Nazi Regime is oppressive and brutal. As war rages on, food is scarce, and their stamina wavers. When their town faces its final battle, they escape to Hermann’s Ruhe, a small cottage in the hills surrounding the town of Wildenheim. Hermann’s Ruhe, a place of quietude, is their refuge. From their front porch, they watch in horror the relentless bombardment of their town until its surrender a week later. Hermann’s Ruhe is their sanctuary, but their safety is deceptive. They are forced to flee Hermann’s Ruhe running for their lives while being chased by bullets. At a nearby village, they find shelter in a schoolhouse already crammed with people. Barricaded and cut off from the world they spend eight days under the most primitive conditions until the final defeat of Wildenheim. Celebrating their freedom from fear and death, they soon discover that chaos accompanies the invasion by the allies. Each day presents new crises, but Helen vows she will do anything to keep her family alive, even resort to criminal activity as she robs an American warehouse with the help of her son and daughter.

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Published: April 28, 2011

Harford Writers' Group |