Forty Autumns: A Family's Story of Courage and Survival on Both Sides of the Berlin Wall by Nina Willner

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Read Forty Autumns: A Family's Story of Courage and Survival on Both Sides of the Berlin Wall Online Free - In this memoir, a former American military intelligence officer goes beyond traditional Cold War espionage tales to tell the true story of her family—of five women separated by the Iron Curtain for more than forty years, and their miraculous reunion after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

At twenty, Hanna escaped from East to West Germany. But the price of freedom—leaving behind her parents, eight siblings, and family home—was heartbreaking. Uprooted, Hanna eventually moved to America, where she settled down with her husband and had children of her own.

Growing up near Washington, D.C., Hanna’s daughter, Nina Willner became the first female Army Intelligence Officer to lead sensitive intelligence operations in East Berlin at the height of the Cold War. Though only a few miles separated American Nina and her German relatives—grandmother Oma, Aunt Heidi, and cousin, Cordula, a member of the East German Olympic training team—a bitter political war kept them apart.

In Forty Autumns, Nina recounts her family’s story—five ordinary lives buffeted by circumstances beyond their control. She takes us deep into the tumultuous and terrifying world of East Germany under Communist rule, revealing both the cruel reality her relatives endured and her own experiences as an intelligence officer, running secret operations behind the Berlin Wall that put her life at risk.

Title : Forty Autumns: A Family's Story of Courage and Survival on Both Sides of the Berlin Wall
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0062410334
Edition Language : English
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 416 pages


Elyse rated it ★★★★★

June 02, 2017

As soon as I finished reading this 'wonderful' epic family memoir .....I wanted to know a little more about the author: *Nina Willner*. I wasn't expecting her to be absolutely gorgeous ... physically stunning! Gifted author --and beautiful -- I'm trying to imagine what it 'feels' like for Nina Wi...

Diane S ☔ rated it ★★★★★

March 05, 2017

I almost didn't read this one, almost. It was due back at the library and quite lengthy, didn't know if I could fit it in, but three of my trusted friends on here rated it highly, so I thought I would just start it and see if I connected with the story. Obviously I did, finished in a few days, an...

Dem rated it ★★★★★

July 25, 2017

" Our story started when one war ended and another began" Every now and then a book comes along that ticks all the boxes for me and Forty Autumns was everything I love in a book. A beautifully written memoir that is historically informative and a moving story of courage and estrangement. Nina Wi...

Esil rated it ★★★★☆

February 07, 2017

4 high stars. I listened to Forty Autumns as an audiobook. I loved listening to this mix of memoir and history about East Germany. Author Nina Willner's mother Hannah defected from East Germany when she was 20 years old, leaving behind her parents and seven siblings. Willner recounts the story of...

Eve rated it ★★★★★

April 04, 2017

"What will become of a country when a mother cannot even trust her own children, and they, in turn cannot trust their own families?"–Oma Apart from a documentary I saw a few years ago about East Germany doping innocent athletes in the 80s, I knew relatively nothing about East Germany or about how...

Chrissie rated it ★★★★☆

February 06, 2017

Those interested in how it was to live in East Germany during the Cold War will enjoy this book. It is both biography and history lesson. The author writes of her family, with the greatest emphasis upon her maternal grandparents, great-grandparents, mother along with her mother's eight siblings a...

Cheryl rated it ★★★★☆

April 27, 2017

In the waning days of World War II, Germany was invaded by the British, French, and American armies on the west and by the Russian army in the east. It quickly became clear that the Russians did not intend to leave. Author Nina Willner’s mother, Hanna, and her family were trapped in the East. Fea...

Manchester Military History Society (MMHS) rated it ★★★★☆

November 14, 2016

The story of East Germany through one family. Nina Willner tells the moving and powerful story of her mother and her family from the end of World War 2 to the unification of Germany. Using the story of her mother’s immediate family Willner creates a compelling story of life in East Germany. Her ex...

Iris P rated it ★★★★☆

May 09, 2017

Forty Autumns: A Family's Story of Courage and Survival on Both Sides of the Berlin Wall A compelling account of how a family found itself divided by the ruthless geopolitics of the Cold War. Full review to follow.

Gina *loves sunshine* rated it ★★☆☆☆

February 09, 2017

Gosh...I just wanted so much more life and vibrancy from this book. Maybe I went in with a really high expectation given all the good ratings. Having been to Berlin a year and a half ago I was really looking forward to reading this interpretation of a family literally separated by a brick wall!!...

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