When an inexperienced soldier and local young woman have a serendipitous meeting during the most turbulent time in 20th century Germany, their son, Erich, is forced to grow up in a war-torn country. As he grows, anger and bitterness seeps from the chaotic streets into Erich’s childhood home. He faces numerous challenges such as being born to an unwed mother, foraging for food, water and heat while navigating the dangers of battle externally and internally, exposing the desperation and perils of surviving on a daily basis.
In the end, teenaged Erich jumps at the opportunity to emigrate to America. Quickly, he realizes that the change in residence doesn’t necessarily mean totally leaving Germany behind as he is embraced by a group of expats. Ironically, soon thereafter, given his appreciation for the American GI, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and stationed back in Germany.
Filled with fascinating and heartbreaking details of a war-scarred Germany, Erich’s story reveals harsh life lessons about growing up, survival, and how eventually life arises from the ashes.