German Tears
by Pauline Elischer

"Standing outside on the boardwalk stood her mother and her two small brothers waving goodbye. Lisle's heart began to break!"

This heartfelt narrative is the story of Lisle, a child of World War II. Her family’s desperate escape from Czechoslovakia to West Germany marks the beginning of her tale. The rampaging Soviet army was raping and killing its way across Eastern Europe near the end of the war. Even the crumbling sanctuary of a starving and defeated nation was a preferred option to the atrocities that awaited Lisle's family at the hands of the victorious Russians.

In war-ravished Germany, her family’s fortunes rise and fall like a roller coaster. They go from poverty to prosperity and back to poverty again. The one constant in Lisle’s life is her love for, and attachment to, her mother and siblings. Her father, a philanderer and brutish parent, foretells, unfortunately, what her own future will bring as she grows into adolescence and womanhood. Eventually, Lisle immigrates to the United States. In America, her hard work, spirit, and perseverance keep driving her forward. Unfortunately, she’s continually plagued by the broken promises of flawed men, and her life careens from one tragedy to the next.

The author, Elischer, writes conversationally—like one friend talking to another. Her descriptions of the fear and horror of wartime ring with authenticity, as do her accounts of domestic pitfalls that would stymie most ordinary individuals. Time and again she explores the strength and commitment needed to not only survive but to overcome physical, emotional, and financial burdens. An unshakable belief in God and love of family make up the foundation this writer uses to tell her tale. It's a foundation that makes a life such as Lisle’s both instructive and inspirational.

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