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I haven’t had the pleasure of reading this autobiography by Joachim Fest about growing up in a dissident household during the Third Reich.  But it is a reminder that not everyone supported the Nazi regime.  Those that were not supporters or willing to keep silent were penalized for their standing up for their fellow Germans … fellow HUMANS.

It’s easily relatable to any point in history when people turn a blind eye to inhumane treatment of others.  From the eradication of the Native American population, to the internment of Japanese Americans, the enslavement of Africans, the fight to end segregation of POC (not just African Americans but Mexicans, Chinese, Japanese and many others have been treated as second class/less than human citizens of our country) and the current lack of equal treatment of LGBTs here in America and other countries.  Those who stand up to the tyranny our punished, shunned and at times attacked physically.

I can only hope as one day on my deathbed I look back on my life that I’m able to say that ‘I made a lot of mistakes, but I didn’t do anything wrong.’ Johannes Fest (the author’s father).

Joachim Fest translated from the German by Herbert Joachim Fest (c) Andreas PohlmannA. Arnoldby Martin Chalmers

Not I

Memoirs of a German Childhood


Publication Date: Feb 11, 2014

464 PP

Trade Paperback

TRIM SIZE (H X W): 5.5 X 8.5


ISBN: 9781590516119

A portrait of an intellectually rigorous German household opposed to the Nazis and how its members suffered for their political stance

Few writers have deepened our understanding of the Third Reich as much as German historian, biographer, journalist, and critic Joachim Fest. His biography of Adolf Hitler has reached millions of readers around the world. Born in 1926, Fest experienced firsthand the rise of the Nazis, the Second World War, and a catastrophically defeated Germany, thus becoming a vital witness to these difficult years.

In this memoir of his childhood and youth, Fest offers a far-reaching view of how he experienced the war and National Socialism. True to the German Bildung tradition, Fest grows up immersed in the works of Goethe, Schiller, Mörike, Rilke, Kleist, Mozart, and Beethoven. His father, a conservative Catholic teacher, opposes the Nazi regime and as a result loses his job and status. Fest is forced to move to a boarding school in the countryside that he despises, and in his effort to come to terms with his father’s strong political convictions, he embarks on a tireless quest for knowledge and moral integrity that will shape the rest of his life and writing career.


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