In the first 20 pages of the book we are introduced to the protagonist of the story, a boy named Helmuth Hubner Who is 17 years old and being held in some kind of prison. Not many details are given to us about where Helmuth is exactly or why he is there but we begin to go with him on a journey into his past when he was a young boy before he was put into prison. Frequently during this chapter Helmuth drifts back in a flashback to his past giving us a look into his life During the time that Adolf Hitler was coming into power.
We first learn about Helmuths family when he describes his mother Mutti, and his two older brothers Hans and Gerhard. Helmuth lives in a Small flat with his mother and brothers while his Oma and Opa, (grandparents) live next door to them. We discover earlier on in the book that as a young boy Helmuth is a strong willed and independent child. He also shows great interest in fighting for the fatherland even though he does not know much about what is going on around him. Helmuth who is only the age of about seven attends local German school. During which time Hitler is elected into power. From Helmuths understanding Adolf Hitler will get Germany out of the mess that it is in and save the fatherland. During this time Helmuth See's problems beginning to arise since Hitler came into power. He sees that the Jews are beginning to be put down and discriminated against as the Nazis, the antagonists of the story, begin to take over Germany.
As time passes more problems begin to arise as Hitler gains more power. Helmuths grandparents also become upset and discuss in front of Helmuth between each other about how Hitler is starting to take the Germans rights away and and is all to protect them. Helmuth hears his grandma tell his grandfather how Hitler scares her and that he seems very evil and conniving. Just as we follow Helmuth back to his past we also stay with him in his future. He often drifts back and forth from both times, and in the present Helmuth fears for his life everyday because he does not know when he will be killed by his captors.
This book reminds me of my grandparents from Germany because they were born around the same time as Helmuth was and probably experienced the same things that Helmuth did. Although not much information is given yet about where Helmuth is I believe that my grandparents went through the same things as he did as they were both placed in concentration camps, but luckily for a short period of time. As I begin to read this book and take a look into Helmuths past as a young boy and in his present as a young man at the age of 17, I begin to get somewhat of a vague idea of what my grandparents endured during the reign of Hitler. This book reminds of just how much Hitler caused people so much suffering and pain.
I predict that As a young boy Helmuth will grow older and soon learn just how bad Hitler is. I still think that he will want to fight for the fatherland but I do not believe that he will publicly rebel against Hitler but just in secret among a small group of other people. I think that as a character and with the influence of others Helmuth will become more and more daring and start to rebel against the Nazi Regine.