Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “I Was There” as Want to Read:
I Was There
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

I Was There

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  123 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
A young German boy narrates his experiences in the Hitler youth movement during the early years of the Third Reich.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 1st 1987 by Puffin Books (first published January 1st 1987)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about I Was There, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about I Was There

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Dec 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
It was a very emotive story showing a era involving Germany under Hitler's power
Krystal Loverin
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it
The book gives you a light insight into time turmoil of being a youth during Hitler's rise to power. I felt like it needed to include more back story within the story instead of the glossary at the back of the book. A good leeway into reading more information about WWII.
Dec 17, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: holocaust
This follows the lives of 3 boys as Hitler took power in the early 30s through 1943. Hans, Gunther, and Heinz all are growing up in Germany and have decidedly different upbringings. Hans parents seem to be a typical German family, not really for Hitler, but not against him either, and have Jewish friends. Heinz's father is an early member of the Nazi party, and Gunther's father has been arrested for publicly speaking out against Hitler. Hans looks up to Heinz and eventually joins the Jugenvolk s ...more
Kyle Pefley
Jan 08, 2016 rated it liked it

“I Was There”, by Hans Peter Richter, Is a story about a boy growing up during the years before and during World War 2 in Germany. The narrator and his friends join the Hitler Youth and devote their childhood to Germany. The narrator had to decide between doing what he thought was right and what other people thought was right. As the story progresses, he must survive in a world full of hate, nationalism, and discipline.
I would recommend this book who like to read about the time period, but tha
Eric The
So far I had read the book up to page 40. I know that Hitler started off as a nice guy then ended up being a terrible man. So one of themes I think would be cleverness. Another thing is that Hans was suspicious and does not like Hitler from the start. So another one I think would be questioning. Because he makes an assumption that he is a bad man. I also thing there will be another one, judgmental because Hitler thinks that all Jews are bad. I also think that Something bad will happen soon with ...more
Mar 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A companion novel to Richter's Friedrich. Where Friedrich told the story of the friendship between the narrator and his childhood pal Friedrich, this story tells of the narrators compulsory membership in the Hitler Youth.
Alan Hughes
I found this childrens' book when I had no book on the go. I was surprised that it was an engaging read which tackles an important subject well. It gives some useful insight into the generation who grew up under Hitler's tutelage.
Carrie Skelton
Read this with my 6th grader for his LA class. very interesting and gives a good view into the Hilter Youth.
Nov 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
La jeunesse dans les jeunesses hitlériennes d'Hans Peter Richter avec ses deux amis Heinz et Günther.
Roman autobiographique.
Nov 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
Found it a little bit boring to be honest
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
made a big impression on me as a teenager.. keen to track down a copy and see if I still love it as an adult.
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german
Eine sehr traurige doch wahre Geschichte die Einblicke in das damalige Geschehen bat. Die Story hatte mich ziemlich mitgerissen obwohl in damals noch nicht so viele Bücher las.
Jedem zu empfehlen!
Graham Dixon
rated it it was amazing
Sep 28, 2017
rated it did not like it
Mar 14, 2016
rated it really liked it
Nov 10, 2017
rated it it was ok
Aug 03, 2008
Birgitte Pedersen
rated it liked it
Sep 17, 2013
rated it really liked it
Mar 19, 2012
rated it it was ok
Sep 12, 2012
Lucy Coleman
rated it liked it
Mar 30, 2012
rated it liked it
Jan 27, 2008
Sixtine L
rated it really liked it
Feb 13, 2018
rated it liked it
Sep 18, 2016
rated it really liked it
Jul 19, 2012
rated it really liked it
Nov 03, 2015
rated it liked it
Apr 29, 2009
rated it really liked it
Apr 13, 2014
rated it liked it
Dec 28, 2011
rated it really liked it
Mar 25, 2016
Joanna Hemmer
rated it really liked it
Oct 25, 2012
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • What World is Left
  • Geronimo
  • Wolfram: The Boy Who Went to War
  • In meinem fremden Land: Gefängnistagebuch 1944
  • A Short History of Philosophy
  • Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees in Cuba
  • Homefront
  • Jigsaw: An Unsentimental Education
  • Darkness Over Denmark: The Danish Resistance and the Rescue of the Jews
  • The Year of Goodbyes
  • Against the Current: Essays in the History of Ideas
  • Ashes
  • Hiding Edith: A True Story
  • The Apprentice's Masterpiece: A Story of Medieval Spain
  • Shakespeare's Daughter
  • Shadowplay: The Hidden Beliefs and Coded Politics of William Shakespeare
  • Dream Days
  • Triumf chirurgów
Hans Peter Richter (1926–1993) was a German author. Born in Cologne, Germany, went to school in Germany, went to the university of Hannover, and graduated in 1968. He also spent some of his life in the German army. Richter wrote many books for children and young adults. Notable among them is the novel Friedrich (in German Damals War Es Friedrich), about the persecution of Jews in Germany during th ...more
More about Hans Peter Richter...

Nonfiction Deals

  • Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Sometimes You Win--Sometimes You Learn: Life's Greatest Lessons Are Gained from Our Losses
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Long Tail: Why the Future Is Selling Less of More
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Quantum Healing (Revised and Updated): Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Funny In Farsi: A Memoir Of Growing Up Iranian In America
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Effortless Healing: 9 Simple Ways to Sidestep Illness, Shed Excess Weight, and Help Your Body Fix Itself
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology
    $8.99 $2.99
  • The Brontës: Wild Genius on the Moors: The Story of a Literary Family
    $20.99 $1.99
  • Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France
    $8.49 $1.99
  • Bad Boy
    $7.74 $1.99
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back
    $4.99 $1.99
  • All Over But the Shoutin'
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir
    $11.24 $1.99

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »