War often forces us to make choices that would not be made during peacetime.
The Last Train to London: A Novel, by Meg Waite Clayton, was published last month. It starts in 1936 in Austria. Stephan Neuman is fifteen years old and best friends with Žofie-Helene. Stephan comes from a upper class and influential Jewish family. Zofie’s comes from a Christian family; her mother publishes a newspaper that is decidedly anti-Nazi. Then the Nazis invade and their lives are forever changed.
In the Netherlands, Truus Wijsmuller cannot sit back and do nothing. She travels back and forth to Nazi Germany, getting out as many Jewish children as she can. Known to the children as Tante Truus, she is one of the adults who coordinates what will be known as the Kindertransport. It maybe the only way out for young people whose lives and futures are at stake.
This book is brilliant. What struck me about this book is that it is incredibly relevant to the world that we live in in 2019. There was language and action that is not too far off from what often makes the local news. There were also, as there are now, individuals who are willing to put their lives on hold to save the lives of others.
The 2018 movie, Ashes in the Snow (based on the book Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys) takes place during World War II. Lina (Bel Powley) is an average teenage girl living in Lithuania with her family. She is also a gifted young artist with a dream and the potential to see that dream become a reality.
Then Lina, her family and thousands of others are deported to Siberia. It is her art and her growing relationship with Andrius (Jonah Hauer-King) that provides a sense of normalcy in a situation that is as far from normal as one can get. Will Lina survive or will she perish with thousands of others?
I read this book previously, so I had an idea of what was coming. The movie is just as good as the book. It is a story that within the genre of World War II stories, is not told as often as it should be. Granted, like many book to movie adaptations, the film does not match the book scene for scene. However, that does not detract from the power of this story and the strength of this young girl who finds the will to survive when many did not.
In a packed field of twelve candidates, it takes requires skill and a series of well though out policies to stand out. The question is, was there a clear winner? The answer is no.
Though former Vice President Joe Biden (D-Delaware) is the current front rummer, his lead is not what it was. Between the scandal (if there is one) surrounding his son Hunter and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) nipping at his heels, he may not be the Democratic savior that many have claimed him to be.
I honestly like Senator Warren. This administration’s view of policy is nothing more than throwing caution to the wind and see what happens. I appreciate a candidate who is comes to the American people with not just ideas, but logistics to back up their ideas. However, Senator Warren’s answer to the question of Medicare for All seemed a little vague to me. Regardless of who is taxed to pay for this program, I need to know who is going to pay and how they are going to pay.
Though there were ten other candidates on the stage, I think that Vice President Biden and Senator Warren have a fight on their hands. We are little more than a year away from the election. The American people have a huge decision to make. Regardless of whomever goes up against you know who next year, it is a fight, that in my mind, will change the course of American history.
Words, words, words... well said Hamlet! A little blog to go off on tangents within the worlds of history and literature that interest me. From the Tudors to Tom Hardy's Tess, or from the Wars of the Roses to Wuthering Heights, feel free to browse through my musings to pick up extra ideas and points for discussion!