“A unique parallel between a young girl’s life in an uncompromising family and the tensions mounting on both sides of the Berlin Wall as she ﬁnds a way to freedom. A remarkable journey.”
—Zohreh Ghahremani, Author of Sky of Red Poppies
In her memoir, Walled-In, J. Elke Ertle shares what it was like to grow up in West Berlin, Germany, during the aftermath of World War II, a time when the city was divided into American, British, French, and Soviet occupation sectors. Initially, forty percent of all structures in the city were destroyed. There was little food or shelter. Many died, but Elke’s family survives. • READ MORE • DOWNLOAD A FREE EXCERPT
About the author, J. Elke Ertle
J. Elke Ertle was born and raised in West Berlin following World War II, a time when the city was the focus of an escalating Cold War between East and West. During the first twenty-one years of her life, she lived with her mother and father in the British sector of the city and was known by her first name, Jutta. READ MORE
Living History with J. Elke Ertle on YouTube
J. Elke Ertle shared her eye witness recollections of President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 Berlin visit in a conversation with Stephen Fagin, Associate Curator, Sixth Floor Museum at Daley Plaza, Dallas Texas. The Museum’s Living History Series recognizes Kennedy’s life, assassination and legacy.
28/07/2014 | No Comments »
Smiles are sunshine for the human psyche.
24/07/2014 | No Comments »
Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg was a primary conspirator in the attempted assassination of German dictator, Adolf Hitler, along with military leaders Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler. By 1944, a small group of high-ranking German officials had come to believe that assassination was the only option to prevent Hitler from continuing to pursue the suicidal course he had started. http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/assassination-plot-against-hitler-fails
Claus von Stauffenberg was born in 1907 at his family’s castle in the south of Germany. He attended the War Academy in Berlin and joined the army in 1926. He served in combat in all of Hitler’s major battles and was seriously wounded during a military operation in North Africa, which cost him his left eye, right hand and the last two fingers of the left hand. During Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, Stauffenberg became aware of and took exception to the atrocities committed by the German Army against Soviet prisoners of war, the Jews and other civilians in Russia. After being promoted to Colonel in June of 1944 and appointed Chief of Staff to Home Army Commander General Friedrich Fromm, Stauffenberg gained direct access to Hitler’s briefing sessions.
Claus von Stauffenberg
The coup to kill Hitler
Following Hitler’s and his military leaders’ presumed death, the plan called for three men to take control of the German Army: Friedrich Fromm, Ludwig Beck and Erwin von Witzleben. The men were also to seize key government buildings, radio stations and telephone centers. Stauffenberg was to become State Secretary of the War Ministry. On the fateful day of July 20, 1944, Stauffenberg and his aide, Werner von Haeften, flew to a briefing with Hitler and other officials at the Wolfschanze–Wolf’s Lair–Hitler’s military headquarters on the eastern front. Stauffenberg, who had never met Hitler before, carried a bomb in his briefcase. He placed it on the floor of the briefing room and seemingly left to make a phone call. Shortly thereafter the bomb exploded. Assuming that the assassination had succeeded, Stauffenberg and Haeften returned to Berlin to put the second part of the planned coup into motion. However, co-conspirator General Friedrich Olbricht had failed to seize key government buildings, radio stations and telephone centers in the interim. And worse, the news came that Hitler had survived the blast with only a badly injured arm. The plot unraveled quickly and the following day, Stauffenberg was executed by firing squad.