For those who don’t know who Eric Braeden is, he’s an actor, whose longest and best known role is as the long time repellent character Victor Newman in The Young and the Restless. I like characters who are villains. I remember his role in the Rat Patrol.
The book is easy reading, but that doesn’t make it simple. In it’s short page length, it covers more than just being about an acting career and celebrities.
Mr. Braeden also pays attention to history and the world in general. He was born in Northern Germany, in 1941. Even though, I’m a history buff, you don’t need me to tell you what was going on. His father was mayor of their town, but that in some ways made life difficult.
After the war, his father had to spend a year in a reeducation camp, and not long after he died. It certainly made Mr. Braeden resilient, as he tells the story of traveling to school, going through his school day, then getting home, and maybe…or maybe not eating.
With money saved, he was able to save money, get to this country, and to use the old phrase, the rest is history.
I wanted to write something personal, from my humble point of view. Did I mention history? I thought so.
Mr. Braeden talked about asking his mother about what went on during World War II. How the actor, Curt Jurgens suggested he return to Germany, so he wouldn’t have to play Nazis all the time. I won’t give the rest of the book away, but here is my personal take.
I’m an American with 95% Ashkenazic Jewish ancestry. My ancestors were from what’s now Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine. You may understand why most Jews in the United States aren’t fond of Germany and or Eastern Europe. Reminds of an apocryphal story. Jewish man buys a Mercedes. (I own a beat up 15 yr. Old vehicle, I bought at an auction. I am not rich, but it has enough dents to scare those with new vehicles). His relatives are horrified. You would buy a car from Nazis? His response? If those Nazis knew how happy their car made this Jew, they would die.
Where am I going with this? I didn’t have a typical Jewish upbringing in the United States. My father, Marvin Charton, was a Chemistry professor at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. His research gained him colleagues and friends worldwide, including Germany and Poland among others. Places you’d think I was supposed to be repelled by. Two of his Polish friends saw me as a surrogate nephew. I’ve visited them in Poland. There’s a moral to this story and I bring it up here, because Mr. Braeden had to put up with it. Being born during the Nazi Era does not, in itself make one an enemy. I shouldn’t have to say this, but people are people, and he talks about those issues in the book.
OK, there is my personal input. Purchase, or go to your library new book shelf and read the book. Nuff said.