Nurse Ulla Dumrath met Dr. Stephan Schwartz in the middle of hell, also known as the Second World War.
Little did Dumrath know she would deal with famine, work in a questionable orphanage, hide Jews, lose the family estate and try to flee from an occupied Russian war zone.
Those are some of the stories shared to Schwartz and Dumrath’s daughter, Vernon writer Christine Schwartz, who composed the stories of her parents’ experiences in war-torn Germany between 1941 and 1949 into the pages of her book, Is He Looking At The Moon?
“This is not just my parents’ story, but also a reminder of a challenging time…,” said Schwartz on the back of her 96-page book which is also filled with family photos. “It also included compassion, hope, faith and even a little bit of humour.”
As a young child, Schwartz was always fascinated by her mother’s stories about escaping the Russian-occupied zone in Stade, Germany, to get to the relative safety of the West.
When her husband went missing, and she had only minutes to flee the questionable orphanage run by the Nazis, the young mother returned to her parents’ estate. Her father was hesitant to share the potentially deadly secret he was keeping from his family and the Nazis, a secret he carefully hid behind a fake wall in a factory.
Post-war, the family and fellow Germans had years of hardship, dealing with missing family members, prisoner of war camps, starvation and the lengthy DeNazification process while shouldering the blame for the war.
Alongside the stories, Schwartz has skillfully woven facts about the war into her self-published book.
All proceeds from the book go to support the building of a home for a single mother in Nicaragua.
Copies of the book are available from Schwartz at Valur70@hotmail.com.