Abandoned in Berlin


Genre: Non-Fiction
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Abandoned in Berlin is a true story of injustice imposed on a Berlin Jewish family, first during the period of National Socialism in the 1930s, and later by the West German legal system of the 1950s. 

The head of the family dies during December 1929, and his wife and two young daughters inherit the five story apartment complex, and take over the business. At first, all goes well, then Adolph Hitler becomes the German Chancellor during January 1933. The youngest child, at age fifteen, is placed under the care of a Nazi Guardianship Court and, because she is part-owner, anything important affecting the business requires the Court's prior approval. Slowly the Court dispossesses the family, and authorizes the sale of the property to a German during March 1936.

Eighteen months later, the family flees to Vienna, only weeks before Hitler invades the country. The mother dies, the eldest daughter escapes to London, and the youngest falls in love with an Austrian Jewish journalist. They marry while he is in prison, and the couple finally flee to Shanghai at the start of 1941, after obtaining approval from the Eichmann's Emigration Center in Vienna.

After the war, the eldest daughter resides in London, and the youngest, with her husband, receives permission to arrive in the United States during 1947. The only child of this youngest daughter, Hilda, born in San Francisco, sets out in 2016, after a trip to Berlin, to find out what happened to her family during the 1930s and why the property was never returned. Her mother and aunt lost their Charlottenberg-Wilmersdorf apartment complex, but their lives were spared. This is Hilda's story of discovery.

John Cammidge was born in York, England and and has lived in California since 1979. He is a Human Resources executive who took up writing following retirement from the University of California a few years ago.

John combines his love of history with his understanding of people, and his ability for creative composition, to inspire and educate his audience. He is a close friend of Hilda, the protagonist in of this true story novella, Abandoned in Berlin. His first book, An Unplanned Encounter, was published in 2014.


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