Meeting the Enemy (Meeting the Enemy, 1)

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9781891400704: Meeting the Enemy (Meeting the Enemy, 1)

Based on a true story, this book explores a German POW's experience over 3 years and 8 prisons.

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About the Author:

In 1998, Arthur Rathburn began the three-and-a-half year project that would becoming MEETING THE ENEMY. Rathburn met Erich (the captured German POW on whom the book is based) while on military duty in Germany in 1965.

The two met at a wine fest in the town of Ingelheim, on the Rhine River not far from the city of Mainz. When Erich learned that Arthur was an Elementary Ed major, he invited him to speak to his fifth grade English class. It was in the Volkshochschule (continuing education program) where Arthur became Erich's unpaid assistant and over the course of the year spent many hours with Erich and his wife. Slowly, his story unfolded.

"It started with him telling me about meeting his ‘enemy’ ....the English and Americans on the battlefield. At my probing, he kept on.  I fancied myself a budding poet at the time and wrote a couple of poems based on his story.  It was only years later when I came across these poor attempts at the art that I decided to someday write the story in total.  After his death I began to think serious of it."

When Rathburn is asked what his hope for the book is, he replies, "I want people to understand that enemies are most often people that we have not made enough attempt to know, be it because of our own prejudices or the inability to overcome theirs."

Arthur lives just outside of Madison, Wisconsin with his wife Ursula, who he met while in Germany. He recently retired from 24 years in the Military. Before that he worked as a ranch-hand, construction worker, surveyor, forest technician, park attendant and University Professor. He holds a Ph.D. in Geography, A Masters in Anthropology, Geography and History, and a Bachelors in the Social Sciences. With any luck, he hopes to decide what he wants to be when he grows up sometime soon.

Review:

An interesting view into WWII that has been, to this point, mostly unknown to the American public. -- Gerald E. Chappel, Co-author of Corpsmen: Letters from Korea

An untold story that needed telling... -- Manfred Donath, POW 1944-1946

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