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  • Writer's pictureKarl Koerber

Book Readings This Fall

This fall I will be doing a couple of slide presentations and readings from my book, "Through the Whirlpool." The first will be at the Salmo Library on Wednesday, October 23 at 7 PM, and the other will be at the Kaslo Library on Tuesday, November 19, also at 7 PM. My parents grew up in Germany during the Nazi era. They were both in the Hitler Youth and my father served as an infantryman with Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps in the Sahara Desert, before he was taken prisoner at El Alamein in 1942. During his time as a POW, he escaped four times, once jumping off a ship in Durban, South Africa, and once jumping off a train near Oakland, California. My mother’s family was forced to abandon their home in Silesia with only such possessions as would fit in a small handcart as the Red Army advanced into Germany in 1945. Apart from the dramatic stories of my family, the book also explores issues that have been both troubling and intriguing from my perspective as a German-Canadian. What inspired 17 million Germans to vote for Adolf Hitler and his National Socialists in 1933? Why were the Nazis able to impose their racist agenda of exclusion and, ultimately, mass murder with so little resistance? The German people were no better or worse, from a moral standpoint, than other Europeans, so what were the social and economic conditions that allowed the Nazi apocalypse to unfold in Germany? Finally, what are the parallels to the current rise of populist and nativist sentiment and politics around the world? Can we learn from what happened in Germany in the 1930s? I’m looking forward to sharing some of my thoughts and reflections on these topics and, hopefully, some good discussion and conversations. I hope you can join me!

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