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The Road Ahead by Christabel Bielenberg
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The Road Ahead

by Christabel Bielenberg

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In this follow-up to The Past Is Myself, the British-born Bielenberg tells of being reunited with her German husband in occupied Germany just after World War II. Together, they struggle to survive, surrounded by conquering armies and short rations. They make their way back to England, where they attempt to rebuild their lives. Eventually, they choose to follow an old dream: to farm on the western coast of Ireland. There, they set up household and learn how to farm through trial and error.
  antimuzak | Feb 3, 2006 |
I was delighted to come upon this because I enjoyed very much, years ago, Bielenberg's wartime memoirs, The Past is Myself. This picks up the story of her life, and that of her husband Peter, and children in post-war Germany, moves to England, and their final settling to farm in Ireland.

This book lacks the focus and drama of the first which was centred very much on Peter and Christabel's involvement with the opposition to Hitler, including the key players of the Stauffenberg plot, most of whom where murdered after the assissination attempt. Nevertheless, it is interesting for its descriptions of life at the end of the war (under French occupation in the areas where they lived, and not always pleasant, especially for women), and in post-war Germany and England. Bielenberg got a job as a foreign correspondent for the Observer and this allowed her to travel to and from Germany. It also helped her to use some connections to get permission for Peter, a German national, to come to England. Bielenberg developed a distaste for Germany and she and Peter were torn as to where their lives would take them in terms of both making a living, and where to live. A holiday in Ireland re-awakened family roots, and after some considerable soul-searching and planning, they bought a farm, settled in, and made a success of it. Throughout, Bielenberg comes across as a sensitive, intelligent, and wise person, tempered, but not embittered, by an often difficult life, the sort of person with whom one could happily spend hours in conversation.
  John | Nov 30, 2005 |
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Appointed as Special Correspondent for the "Observer", Christabel Bielenberg is reunited with her husband and contributes to the reconciliation and reconstruction of a defeated nation. However, the stress of living in an occupied country and divided loyalties lead the Bielenbergs to turn their backs on Germany and Britain and start a new life.… (more)

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