Goodreads Summary: Suppose your country began to change. Suppose that without your noticing, it became dangerous for some people to live in Germany any longer. Suppose you found, to your complete surprise, that your own father was one of those people. That is what happened to Anna in 1933. She was nine years old when it began, too busy with her schoolwork and toboganning to take much notice of political posters, but out of them glared the face of Adolf Hitler, the man who would soon change the whole of Europe – starting with her own small life. Anna suddenly found things moving too fast for her to understand. One day, her father was unaccountably missing. Then she herself and her brother Max were being rushed by their mother, in alarming secrecy, away from everything they knew – home and schoolmates and well-loved toys – right out of Germany…
My Thoughts: When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit is a book for kids and teenagers. I know that many friends of mine had to read it in school but for some reason, I never had to. Nevertheless, I always thought that it is an important novel that I should have read. Thus, last year, I bought it but then forgot about it again. Last week, when I was in bed sick with the flu, I was going through the books in my shelf I have not read yet and there it was and grabbed my attention. I started reading it in the morning and read it in one day even though I had to take breaks because I couldn‘t concentrate anymore due to my illness.
Being German, I was always interested in the past of my home country even though the history of Germany is so cruel and sad. But especially because it is like that I think that it is really important to educate our kids about this dreadful part of our history and to explain why things have happened and how they could have been avoided in order to make sure that something like this will never happen again. In Germany this is done very well in school and after reading this novel, I can see why many people read it during their school time.
Judith Kerr did a fantastic job describing this part of the German history from the view of a Jewish family escaping from Nazi Germany. She finds a way of explaining things in a kids and teenager friendly way as well as delivering a story that is entertaining and nice to read. In some parts it is even funny and the reader forgets about the terrible things that have happened at the same time.
The story is based on her real life and describes how she and her family escape from Germany first to Switzerland, then to France and finally to Britain. It shows a young girl growing up under extremely difficult circumstances. She needs to adapt to new countries, new surroundings, new people and, even more difficult, to new languages over and over again. But while all this is happening the only thing that matters to her is that her family stays together. She manages all problems no matter how hard situations may appear. This is something everybody should see as a role model because it can even help nowadays. The story shows that no matter how difficult life can be there is always something that matters more than money or valuables and that are the people surrounding you.
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit is a story that gives hope and perfectly explains the most important bits of history of the Nazi time. The book can be read by young and old equally. In the end, I felt as if I was part of this little family who just wanted to live a normal life together somewhere without having to fear for their lives. The family does not even feel at home anywhere because their home was taken away from them and at the end they are still on the run but I like how even this horrible situation is turned into something positive by the father in the end: “We‘ll belong a little in lots of places, and I think that may be just as good.“ They always kept their chins up and eventually they got out of their situation even stronger than before and that is something I consider as the most important message of this novel.
Thanks to Judith Kerr for sharing her own experiences and for enriching us with this great book!
My Rating: ★★★★