Our Headteacher, John Tarbox was presented with two novels written by Hermann Kaunders, who left after the German Anschluss with Austria. He arrived with many other escapees from Austria and Germany to seek refuge in England and was placed in Riversmead, which was an orphanage at the time.
Hermann revisited the school in 1989, when a 50 year reunion was hosted here, and met many other ex-pupils. Hermann is now 90 and felt unable to make the journey this time so asked his friend, Clive Webster, to visit on his behalf as he wished to donate the first copies of his books to the school.
Clive has recently helped Hermann to publish his semi-autobiographical novels, which refer to his childhood in Vienna and time at Riversmead. As Hermann explains, ‘I wanted to show how people’s lives are affected by differences and that these differences were small compared to the overwhelming similarities. At first this did not matter but as time went on everything changed.’ For Hermann, his family and friends, differences became, quite simply, a matter of life and death. This is amply demonstrated where his family and friends are harassed and persecuted by the Nazis (the title refers to the racist slur Jews were subjected to: Wanzen or Bedbugs).
The books, “And God Created Bedbugs Too” and “Before the Cock Crows” are available to purchase from Lulu.com and will soon be available online at Amazon, iStore, Barnes and Noble and Waterstones. Signed copies of the paperback are on sale exclusively at the Book Inn, Leigh on Sea Tel: 01702 716 614. Price £9.99.
And God Created Bedbugs Too
Growing up in 1920’s Vienna, playing along the Danube, little Xandi’s childhood was idyllic. In just a few years however, his world would be shattered with the rise of anti-Semitism and the Anschluss. Now, for the first time, Hermann Kauders puts down his remarkable experiences into words in this wry, sometimes humorous, often tragic but ultimately life-affirming work.
Before the Cock Crows
Growing up in 1920’s Vienna, playing along the Danube Meadow, little Xandi’s childhood was idyllic. In just a few years however, his world would be shattered with the rise of anti-Semitism and the Anschluss. In the sequel to And God Created Bedbugs Too, Hermann Kauders puts down these remarkable experiences into words in this wry, often humorous, occasionally tragic but ultimately life-affirming work.