World Elsewhere: An American Woman in Wartime Germany, A

Sigrid MacRae
The extraordinary love story of an American blueblood and a German aristocrat—and a riveting tale of survival in wartime Germany Sigrid MacRae never knew her father, until a trove of letters revealed not only him, but also the singular story of her parents’ intercontinental love affair. While visiting Paris in 1927, her American mother, Aimée, raised in a wealthy Connecticut family, falls in love with a charming, sophisticated Baltic German baron, a penniless exile of the Russian revolution. They marry. But the harsh reality of post–World War I Germany is inescapable: a bleak economy and the rise of Hitler quash Heinrich’s diplomatic ambitions, and their struggling family farm north of Berlin drains Aimée’s modest fortune. In 1941, Heinrich volunteers for the Russian front and is killed by a sniper. Widowed, living in a country soon at war with her own, Aimée must fend for herself. With home and family in jeopardy, she and her six young children flee the advancing Russian army in an epic journey, back to the country she thought she’d left behind. A World Elsewhere is a stirring narrative of two hostages to history and a mother’s courageous fight to save her family.


Reviewed: 2018-07-30

A beautiful book. It tells the story of Aimee and Heinrich, an American and Baltic German who meet, fall in love and marry. The book is told by their youngest child Sigrid. Beyond exploring what it was like for a young American to marry and relocate to a new country with her husband, the book goes into detail about the time before World War II in Germany and explores what was known about what was happening and how Germans truly felt about the war. 

It's interesting to read this after having read Suite Franciase. The Germans when they invaded France weren't viewed as enemy forces. For some the enemy was their own French forces and the English who left them without protection. 

Reading the story of Aimee and how she manages to do what is necessary for her friends and family is a wonderful example for all of us.

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