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Small Feet on the Run

SMALL FEET ON THE RUN

by Sieglinde Martin Review by Ann Kangas

This book about children in wartime tells of eighteen children from Germany and other parts of Europe during WW II. Told through the eyes of the children, these true stories bear witness to the lives of civilians during the war years. Over the years a number of them emigrated to the U.S., and the book includes stories of six who settled in Columbus, including the author, Sieglinde Martin, who was born in Langenfeld, Germany, a community made up of mostly rural villages about three miles east of the Rhine, between Cologne and Düsseldorf. In 1964 Martin came to the U.S. for a postgraduate traineeship in physical therapy. While here she met and married her husband, Dr. Gerhard E. Martin, and they made their home in Columbus.

Chapter titles underscore the child’s point of view in these childhood-memory biographies: “Will Father Christmas Know where I am?” “I Sat on my Suitcase all Alone,” “My Father Came Home Sick,” “The Bank Vault Was Our Air Raid Shelter,” “We Ate Oatmeal in Our Hiding Place,” “We Had to Leave in Fifteen Minutes,” and “We Waited for Our Father to Come Home.” The final two chapters, which led Martin to write this book, are called, “Arguments against War” and “Never Again War.”

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