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The Heider family huddles together in the basement, wondering if this is the last day they will be together, if this is the last day of their lives. It’s Munich, Germany, in 1945, the day American tanks are rolling in. Anneliese’s father finds a white sheet, ready to hang it from the attic window, hoping he times it right. Too early, and German SS forces could open fire. Too late, and the Allied forces could shoot. Thank god, it’s not the Russians. And so begins the memoir of Anneliese Heider Tisdale, who grew up in Germany during World War II. Hers is a universal and timeless tale of war and death, of fear and deprivation, of the inventiveness of children who want to dance and wear new clothes but instead have childhoods filled with bandages and bombs, who return to school one fall to find the crucifix in their classroom replaced with a picture of the Führer.

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