'Idiosyncratic and utterly fascinating.'  Daily Mail.

Wolfram is the story of the Third Reich as seen through German eyes. It examines how one eccentric German family - who despised Hitler from the outset - survived the daily horrors of Nazi Germany.  

At the heart of the book is a moral dilemma that will strike a chord with every reader: how much should one compromise one's ideals when living in a brutal dictatorship?

Wolfram was nine when Hitler came to power and 21 when the Second World War ended. He was to experience the rise and fall of the Third Reich, from the earliest street marches to the final defeat of the Nazi regime. Conscripted into Hitler's army, he was to witness first hand the brutality of war - first on the Russian front and then on the Normandy beaches. 

Wolfram: The Boy Who Went to War offers a new and different perspective on the horrors of the Nazi regime. 

Based on sixty hours of interviews with Wolfram Aichele, along with letters and diaries in the family archive, Giles Milton recreates an extraordinary personal testimony from the darkest days of the Third Reich.

To buy the book click here (UK) and here (USA)

Giles talks about his new book


Click here for my interview with The Guardian.

Click here for my interview with the Spectator about Wolfram.

Click here for The Bookbag interview.

Click here for an article in The Guardian about Wolfram.








Reviews

'This is a powerful study in enforced conformity as Milton shows how the Nazis became increasingly intrusive in the lives of ordinary Germans, who could expect regular visits from the Gestapo. Wolfram's freethinking parents hid the books they loved (all bookshelves, insisted the Gestapo, had to be cleansed of "dirt and shame") and encouraged him in his desire to be an artist. 
But first he was made to join the Hitler Youth and then, aged 18, he was forced to fight, first in Russia, then in Normandy, witnessing the Allied landings from a German foxhole. 
Based on Wolfram's recollections (he is the author's father-in-law), with Milton providing the scene painting and historical background, this is a valuable record of what it was like to be sucked into war, and a vivid evocation of the fear and bewilderment of living in the Third Reich.' Ian Pindar, The Guardian.

‘A book which deftly juggles the micro and the macro, ably contextualising Wolfram’s life and incorporating it into the broader story. Importantly, Milton’s use of the first-hand material that he has had access to – diaries, letters and interviews – is exemplary. In contrast to some books of this type, one never feels that the raw material is being stretched too thin, and neither does one sense that it is overused, presented clumsily, without sufficient explanation or context.
Milton’s writing, too, is first-rate. Engaging, poignant and vivid, he wrings just the right amount of pathos from his story, and shifts seamlessly between the varying ‘voices’ of his narrative.Therefore for all its apparently homespun origins, this is a very valid and interesting book, which offers an illuminating insight into the experience of ‘ordinary’ Germans living in ‘small-town’ Germany.’ Roger Moorhouse, BBC History Magazine.

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