This was written and published in 1975 and by then Max Hermann Maier was in his eighties.
The story is perhaps familiar: a man who considers himself to be German volunteers to fight for Germany in the Great War, does his part, is even offered promotion and then a few years later is persecuted. During the war he is even asked to be baptised to secure his promotion. A Jew was not allowed to become an officer. He chooses to remain Jewish.
The title means “Memories of Germany” and he does speak in a neutral tone about much of what happened until he and his wife emigrated to Brazil. His university career is particularly interesting; he enjoyed the famous German academic freedom, spending one semester here and another there.
Unfortunately the text is quite heavy going. There are many paragraphs that go over several pages. The stories lack any real emotion. He doesn’t tell us much about the horrors of the First World War and we don’t really feel his fear as the Gestapo close in.
There are some revealing moments, however. We learn about some of the wonderful walking holidays he enjoyed with his wife and friends.
We also learn that they had many German friends who looked out for them and many of their other Jewish friends.
I was also fascinated to read that his wife studied with Käthe Lehrs and that he knew one of her cousins Ernst Löwenthal.
Sadly this book is now out of print. There are a few copies around, however.