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The small village in Pomerania in northern Germany provided a peaceful haven for the childhood years of author Ingeborg E. Ryals. But in 1939 the beginning of World War II irrevocably changed her idyllic life.

In this memoir Ryals shares her first hand experiences as the war began to affect every aspect of her life. At the age of fifteen, she had to dig trenches behind the front lines and spent many days hiding in fear of the Soviet Army as it invaded and pillaged her village. Diphtheria and typhoid epidemics swept the country. She survived a bout of diphtheria but lingered near death for days on end with typhoid fever. There was little food to sustain them. At the age of eighteen, she was shipped to a labor camp operated by the Russian military on an island in the Baltic Sea. Ryals also recounts her escape and her eventual marriage to an American.

With photos included, The Tears of War narrates a very real story of the tragedy of war. It shows Ryals’ perseverance and her ability to overcome obstacles in an effort to survive.

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