Dorothea Wollin Null’s Surviving ‘Uncle Hitler’ (First Steps Publishing, 2016) doesn’t present these classics with any serious competition. Nevertheless, for a reader with an interest in the era, there’s a lot to like about this slim volume, which focuses on the author’s life as a German child growing up under the murderous tyrant she and her siblings were taught to call “Uncle.” For instance, the book:
- Opens with an excellent summary of Hitler’s rise to power, penned by the author’s brother
- Makes the case that average Germans had been blinded and brainwashed by the Nazi’s complete media censorship and superb propaganda machine
- Describes some of the hardships German citizens faced over the course of the war, reminding the reader that they, too, were victims of Hitler’s evil
- Provides insights into the human impact of military decisions – for instance, the 1942 British decision to begin “de-housing” the German people rather than focusing strictly on military and industrial targets
- Expresses gratitude for America’s post-war assistance via the Marshall Plan and touches on our country’s once-strict immigration policies
- Includes wonderful family photos and evocative descriptions of, for instance, the sight of stork nests and the scent of newly mown hay in the countryside as her family moved from place to place as refugees
Null frequently makes reference to the Lord’s protection, provision and guidance throughout her ordeals, which I appreciated greatly. But I wish she'd gone into more detail about His intervention. It would have been very interesting, too, to learn about how she finally came to Christ as a young woman; she says that’s a story for another time, but a preview would have been welcome. And I do wish she had spelled out the gospel, to make this book potentially useful as a giant gospel tract.
Still, I found much to admire in Surviving ‘Uncle Hitler.’ Kudos to Null for producing an interesting memoir.
Disclosure of Material: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the BookCrash.com book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”