This work is an autobiography of a railway worker's son who joined the Hitler Youth at the age of 12 and became involved in the Nazi movement which was passionately opposed by his parents - the conflict between his Nazism and his father's socialism is a central theme.
Of interest not only to the general reader, it will of use to historians, political scientists, sociologists and others interested in this unique period in German history.
Beginning in the pre-Nazi period, it covers all aspects of life in Hamburg's strong socialist working class community: street play, visits to the countryside, family gatherings and school life as well as the scout movement which was eventually to become the Hitler Youth.
This settled society was disrupted by the arrival of the Nazis who used violence, propaganda and skillfully orchestrated gatherings and marches to achieve total political dominance.
The author gives an account of the beating and intimidation of individual opponents of the Nazi regime - trade unionists and others - and the climate of fear and violence which gradually transformed his family, friends and local community. A picture of the rise of Hitler and the terrible consequences that followed are given through this detailed and sometimes painfully honest personal account.