"BAD TIMES, GOOD FRIENDS: A Persona Memoir" by Ilse-Margret Vogel


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Unusual in the annals of young people's literature about the Holocaust, these remembrances--of greatest appeal to teens--are from a woman who was already an adult at the time. Vogel (My Summer Brother, 1981) says it took this long to find words for these wartime Berlin stories. Each chapter is an adventure--some triumphant but most not--in resistance to the Nazis by non-Jews like herself. Dynamically written--even in the descriptions of nightly bombing raids--the episodes crisscross in time while some characters reappear. Each incident exhibits an aspect of the war: a marriage proposal from a homosexual man trying to hide from the Gestapo; a friend's inordinate hunger contributing to his death, etc. The pieces vary widely in length, with the longer ones for more complexity of character and the shorter packing more punch. Adding to the drama is a final listing of what became of the friends: most cannot be found. Chronology; index.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1992
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich