I've been reading quite a bit about the time before and during World War II. I guess it naturally comes after the Great Depression kick I was on a little while ago.
Whatever the reason, I've really enjoyed the books. The first book is Agathe von Trapp Memories Before and After The Sound of Music by Agathe von Trapp, the oldest daughter from the Von Trapp family of The Sound of Music fame.
And yes, her name was Agathe, not Liesl. And really she was the second-born. Her brother was the oldest.
Those are just some of the facts Agathe sets straight between real life and the movie version of her family's story. She admits she had a very hard time when the musical, then movie, were released because the producers took such liberties with her family's story.
The most difficult was the portrayal of her father, a loving, warm-hearted man. Yes, he did use a whistle to call them, and she explains why. She also writes about Maria, her second mother, who was only eight or nine years older than Agathe herself when she married Georg, Agathe's father.
Their life and escape from Austria wasn't nearly so dramatic as the movie's portrayal, but it is interesting. I enjoyed reading this book about the history of their family, their life in Austria and then in America, and about Agathe's coming to terms with The Sound of Music.
Agathe's book focuses on her family and not on Germany, Hitler and the politics of pre-war Europe. However, Erwin Lutzer's When a Nation Forgets God certainly does.
Lutzer draws seven lessons from Germany's descent into Nazism for today's American reader. He explores Germany's economy, legal system, and the Nazi propaganda, among other things. Lutzer's writing style is easy to read and engaging - and while some of the conclusions he draws are alarming, he always gives his readers hope.
When a Nation Forgets God is a short book, but well-researched, well-written and worth reading.