3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Martin grew up on a farm in Wiederitzsch, Germany. At fourteen years of age, he signed on as an apprentice with a carpenter. Martin hoped to marry, raise a family, and live a traditional life. He finished his apprenticeship. In the middle of his graduation party, the postman delivered a letter to Martin. The letter had an Imperial Eagle stamp. He would spend the next months building the Westwall. From that day on, Martin’s life would be completely different from what he ever could have imagined.
The book chronicles Martin’s activities as a soldier and member of an elite, covert-spy operations group. His elite group carried out several missions. Of special interest was the failed glider mission to Ösel. Here, we discover what Martin did to merit several Iron Crosses.
Iron Crossed, by Renata Rose and Phil Rose, is a biography written as fiction. It recounts the true story of Martin and Leni. These are the stories of Martin that take him to Denmark, Russia, and Italy. Martin describes the arrival of the Americans at the end of the war. Martin was repatriated to Russian-occupied Germany. He married his beloved Leni and started a family. Life after the war was not easy. Food shortages were common. Women were harassed and treated as community property. They made plans to escape from Germany and live in the West. Martin then found work in Australia. He signed a two-year contract to work on the Snowy Mountains Scheme. Leni came later, with the children. She shares her harrowing experiences of trying to find work. She was responsible for raising their children while Martin completed his work contract.
The writing style makes the conversations seem very familiar. The author does an excellent job of conveying the emotions of the different situations. We share in the joy of their growing family. Martin recounts the painful experiences that altered his beliefs about all the propaganda he had always, naively, accepted as truth.
I thoroughly enjoyed the family photos and photocopies of original documents that accompany the story. There are photos of Martin’s parents. Other photos show their home in Australia. These and many more create an emotional bond with the characters. The author also lists several websites where readers can learn more about Martin and his elite spy group. You can listen to actual recordings of Martin’s voice!
I rate this book a 3 out of 4 stars. Another editing could eliminate the misspellings and punctuation errors. I would recommend this story to readers who enjoy biographies and history. I congratulate Renata on writing such a beautiful memoir in honor of her father and his life.
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Like kdstrack's review? Post a comment saying so!