A Journey on My Own: A Youth from Hitler's Germany Strives by Eric H. Vieler

By Eric H. Vieler

A trip on My Own tells the tale of Eric Vieler, born in the US yet raised in Hitler's Germany, the place he observed the persecution of Jewish associates and skilled the bombing of towns. After being expelled from a Nazi-run academy, he crossed conflict strains to arrive his domestic. On Easter 1945, he encountered American troops, grew to become their interpreter, and witnessed fierce battling. He joined British career forces, doing a number of jobs for meals as reimbursement. Vieler's quest for his American identification used to be fulfilled while he used to be repatriated to the USA at age fifteen, yet recommendations of independence have been thwarted while, as a result of his age, he was once required to wait public university. even if he held after-school jobs, his fundamental aid used to be via a brand new York urban welfare service provider. In 1950, Vieler enlisted within the military, used to be commissioned at age nineteen, and went directly to serve in Korea, the place he used to be heavily wounded and two times embellished for valor.

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Yet every time I got going in the narrative I would find myself stopped cold by a set of made-up, predictable characters taken not from life, but from the same novels all of us had read, and informed by a naivete which was at its worst when Mailer went into his Time-Machine and wrote those passages which resemble nothing so much as smudged carbons of aDos Passos work. Sourly, from a distance, that year I watched the fame of Mailer quite surpass that of John Home Bums and myself, the heroes of the previous year.

I suspect it takes a far more homogeneous, more settled, yet more uneasy society to produce satirists. And if one is to be met by the argument that God forbid things should be any worse simply to make matters easier for one small department of literature, I would be the first to agree that the benign incompetence of the Great Golfer and his Team is certainly preferable to a touchy Nero or to an inscrutable Caesar. Yet there is a real need for the satirist in our affairs, especially now. Since the Second World War and its horrors there has been a remarkable change in our society.

The lowbrow echoes the highbrow: "exposure" is good for trade. Yet in actual fact, there is no evidence that television appearances sell novels as opposed to volumes of gossip or sex hygiene. Most people who watch television regularly do not read books or much of anything else. Yet this does not deter the talking writers. There are other pleasures and duties than trade. For one thing, those who have strong views of a political or moral nature are free to express them (aesthetic judgments are not encouraged by comperes for obvious reasons).

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