The story of a young boy who escaped Hitler and the Holocaust—and lived happily ever after.
Escaping Hitler is the true story, covering ninety years, of Günter Stern who, at fourteen, when Adolf Hitler threatened his family, education, and future, resolved to escape from his rural village of Nickenich in the German Rhineland. In July 1939, Günter boarded a bus to the border of Luxembourg, illegally crossed the river, and walked alone for seven days through Belgium and into Holland. He was intent on catching a ferry to England and freedom, but the outcome of his journey was not exactly as he had planned.
Scrivens gathered her information through interviews with Günter, now known as Joe Stirling, and with those closest to him. During an emotional ‘foot-stepping’ journey in September 2013, Scrivens also visited Günter’s birthplace, met with a school friend, discovered the apartment in Koblenz where he fled following Kristallnacht in 1938, drove the route of Günter’s walk through Europe, and retraced the final steps of his parents prior to their deportation to a Nazi death camp in Poland during 1942.
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