Erik Graff's Reviews > We Die Alone

We Die Alone by David Howarth
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's review
Oct 23, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: history
Recommended to Erik by: Fin Graff
Recommended for: Norwegians
Read in August, 1962 , read count: 1

Throughout childhood books along the lines of "Norway and the Norwegians" were recommended to me by parents, grandparents, collateral relatives and friends of the family. This was particularly the case when I was in Norway itself, visiting Mom's parents.

Fin Graff, Mom's dad, had been born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. When his dad, Dr. Harald Graff, committed suicide by shoving a amputation blade into his heart, his mother, Olga, lacking the means to support her three children, sent Fin and his sister, Gerda, back to Oslo to be raised by relatives and kept Einar with herself in the States, ultimately in Chicago. Einar was Dad's father, making my parents cousins.

I went to Norway to visit the grandparents at ages 2-3, and 10-11. By the second visit I was already a reader and being surrounded by Norsk-speakers encouraged even more reading than I was accustomed to. No problem, Morfar Fin had an extensive collection of books, many of them in English, which he encouraged me to read, one of them being We Die Alone. It was a good choice as I was fascinated by WWII, by Nazis (Morfar had a Nazi helmet left over from the Occupation in his attic!) and, like most everyone, by adventure-in-the-wastelands stories.
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