So, maybe this little story about my experience when I was approximately 9 to 10 years old will explain two things – the title of my book recently published by TKG and is available on Amazon under the title THE CHOCOLATE Bar by Agathe von Kampen.
First: On page 96 I describe my situation as a child refugee that Hitler immigrated to Germany from Ukraine where I was born to German parents. In the immediate aftermath of WW11, before the new democratic government in the American zone where I, with my brother, mother and grandmother found us, the situation was total chaos – every person for themselves.
My mother was gone most of the time in an attempt to find some sort of assistance, mostly offered by The American Red Cross, and my brother who was around 15-16 years old and was foraging for food, my grandmother and I had the job of holding down the fort in whatever bombed-out train station where we would find some shelter for a few hours at a time.
I was standing outside a train station watching with a protective eye our few belongings tied in an old sheet, waiting for my mother and brother to return when this very young looking American GI walked over to me – my heart skipped a few beats as I expected to be ordered to produce my I.D. papers – would I be arrested? Sent to a concentration camp ? Oh no, I remembered, Americans didn’t use concentration camps or the threat of Siberia as was done in the Ukraine under Stalin’s regime – then what did they use to control people ? Shoot them on the spot, I reasoned, as I watched him reach into his breast pocket. I closed my eyes, ready to die. Eyes open again when I didn’t hear the all familiar gunshot I expected I saw him hold out a very small brown package to me. Unfamiliar with receiving any gifts I just stood there, glued to the spot in my dirty, wet clothes (Yes, in Germany it rains all the time) with the rain dripping off my matted braids. He took out another Hershey bar, unwrapped it and took a bite, motioning for me to do the same.
Now to number 2 of my explanation: It was also the beginning of my addiction – yes, I confess to being a chocoholic – and I blame it all on a young American soldier.
Does this explain the cover? The deserted train station and the sign above – that was my destination: CHOCOLATE.
Please read the book and find out more in my next Blog entry.
Talk to you next week.
P.S. Isn’t it appropriate to write this on Independence day?