“These were difficult times. The old order was quickly changing. The Nazis were constantly issuing new orders to diminish the role of German Jews in daily German life. It was a slow, grinding process. Each day, there was something new we were forced to swallow. Like many, Father still hoped and believed that our normal life would return. Governments had failed in the past in Germany. This government could fail too. Even though we did not understand, we were still patriotic. I know I repeat myself. Jewish ancestry may have been in his blood, but more than anything else, Father was a proud German.”
Excerpt from A Smile in One Eye: a Tear in the Other
“I can’t recite the chronology or elaborate on the facts. I can’t explain the reasons or defend how we lived our lives. What I can tell you is how the events of 1933 sowed the seeds that fundamentally changed our future, that there was little hand-wringing or emotion, that circumstances were beyond control, that there was no recourse or appeal. I can tell you that events were incremental, that the unbelievable became the believable and, ultimately, the normal.”
Ralph Webster, A Smile in One Eye: a Tear in the Other
The Third Reich is rising. The creeping madness in the heart of Germany will soon stain the entire world. This is the chilling account of one family as they flee for their lives.
A 2016 Goodreads Readers Choice Nominee – Best Memoir!
A heartfelt THANK YOU to the Wine, Women, and Words Book Club for selecting A Smile in One Eye: a Tear in the Other as your book this month and inviting me to be part of this week’s meeting. Great exchange of thoughts and opinions – wonderful discussion.
Recently I have posted review of A Smile in One Eye: A Tear in the Other, which became one of my favorite books of 2016. Ralph Webster, the author, kindly accepted my guest post request and today is sharing with us what inspired him to write his father’s memoir. Enjoy reading!
This winter Ralph has met with nearly a dozen book clubs who have chosen A Smile in One Eye: a Tear in the Other for their monthly discussions. His book tells the story of his father’s Holocaust journey. Here is the answer to one question that is always asked and several quotes from the book. Should you wish to arrange for Ralph to participate in your book club, either in person or via Skype, feel free to write him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. He wants to connect with readers throughout the world.
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A heartfelt Thank You to the Girlfriends Book Club – Great Evening – Compelling Discussion! I am honored that you selected my book. Wish I could meet with more book clubs!
(photo by Anne Snape Parsons)
I do not regret that I spent last days of 2016 on reading A Smile in One Eye, A Tear in the Other because the book was the biggest surprise of the last year! We need more books like A Smile in One Eye, A Tear in the Other because an accounts of people who […]
The Virginian-Pilot, Sunday, December 16, 2016
“A Smile in One Eye, a Tear in the Other” by Ralph Webster of Kitty Hawk. A World War II history with implications for today’s refugee crises. Webster tells the story of his father’s family, Jewish by heritage, Lutheran by choice, targeted by the Nazis. The buzz includes this from a staff member at Bookish: “When I first started reading the book, it felt very much like a love letter from an older son to an even older father. By the time I finished, it felt more like a letter of apology. … I cannot claim to know the author’s mind, but this book is one of the best reads I have had in a long time.”