5.0 out of 5 stars
Bonnie Goldenberg’s Love, Abe is a WWII love story that must have happened with variations all over America and around the world: falling in love and marrying in the shadow of war, followed by a relationship through letters, the fear, and anxiety, a baby born without a father present…. My own German parents experienced something just like this.
Love, Abe, however, differs in the extraordinary amount of detail Abe provides in his letters. He wrote to his wife every day, on occasion more than once. As a result, we have a detailed account of every day in this soldier’s life, from basic training to being sent abroad to Europe late in 1944, Scotland, France, and finally Germany. The reader is right there with Abe, feeling his anxiety, especially once his first child Bonnie is born, the uncertainty of what will happen next, the enforced secrecy. Even descriptions of the countryside which might give away a location are blackened out by the censor. At one point Abe exclaims: “Darling, it seems like we are the only sane ones in a crazy world and we are far from sane.”
Once the war was over, Abe had only one wish: to see his wife and his baby girl, by then more than two years old. But there were endless delays. Abe suffered from what he called “redeployment.” “I just want to slip quietly and unostentatiously into my place in society,” he wrote on August 28, 1945. Able to communicate in German, the delay, however, also gave him an opportunity to observe German civilians, who seemed unwilling to acknowledge the horrors committed in their country’s name. In the end it was his wife’s emergency request to the Red Cross that allowed Abe to return in January 1946.
To give the reader as full a picture as possible, the author not only uses the mountains of letters but enhances them with her own careful research, adding facts and descriptions that round out our experience and provide a treasure trove of firsthand information on WWII.
Abe Klapper’s letters to his devoted wife Lillian brought to life the times and experiences he encountered during his service in World War II.
His daughter Bonnie is a gifted and talented writer – so proud of her parents during their painful separation.
It is evident in how she expressed herself!
Bravo to a labor of love!!!!
Abe’s letters offer insight into the real life of a young WW2 soldier who was intelligent, romantic, insightful, at times sadly prophetic, and devoted to his country and his young family. Bonnie Goldenberg expertly provides the context for the letters in a truly beautiful tribute to her parents.