Not Alone: An Autobiography

By Alwine Joan Franke
July 2002
Book Guild
ISBN: 1-85776-631-8
190 pages, 5 " x 8 "
$37.50 hardcover


Joan Franke was spending a few months in Leipzig to learn her father's native language when the Second World War began and she was caught in its web. Unable to return to England, she was declared German by the authorities but lost her job because her boss considered her British. Desperate for work, she began teaching English and was married to Carl, one of her students. Soon she had to fend not only for herself in a strange country, but also for their two children. Fortunately her new landlady took her under her wing and initiated her into the formidable ways of the Hausfrau. Equally fortunately, the landlady, a staunch Nazi, protected her from gossip and suspicion. One terrifying night, Leipzig was devastated by bombs. Women and children were evacuated and Joan and her sons managed to make it to her in-laws' farm near the Swiss border. But even there she was not free from Nazi suspicion and danger. Alwine Joan Franke tells in vivid, fascinating detail what everyday was like on 'the other side' during WWII, and movingly recounts the extraordinary difficulties and dangers she faced.

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