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From a Nazi to a Jew

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From a Nazi to a Jew

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A German Life by Bernd Wollschlaeger, M.D.

Bernd Wollschlaeger, MD, FAAFP was born, raised, and educated in Germany, emigrated to Israel, served in the Israel Defense Forces, and now lives in Miami, Florida and is a practicing family physician and author.

His father was a highly decorated World War II German tank commander and fought in Poland, France, and Russia. After sustaining several injuries, he was presented with the Iron Cross, which was personally awarded to him by Adolf Hitler.

He was born in 1958, and was the second child and first son. They considered his education and upbringing their highest priority in life and his father especially tried to instill in him what he considered to be the correct German set of beliefs and values, at an early age he discovered that his parents were concealing their past in an attempt to protect him from the effects that the Second World War had on our lives.

Bernd soon discovered that his early attempts within Germany to deal with the Holocaust caused a major rift in our family. "My father refused to entertain any discussion about this topic despite my inquisitive nature and a growing number of mounting questions. Driven by my curiosity and interest in finding the truth about his past and the Holocaust, I explored Israel and Judaism through literature, a series of personal encounters with Jews".

A friend of mine who is a Hungarian holocaust survivor recommended this book to me , It is basically a memoir about a German man who found out his father was a Nazi soldier. He rejects his family, becomes a Jew, moves to Israel, joins the army, etc ,My friend thought this book was "unbiased"

This story describes how history can impacts and devastate a family. As the main character in the book, he struggled with faith and identity. And the quest to find answers to questions about his parents and his nation’s past, I set out to find the truth and in doing so, he found a new life and separation from family, friends and country. His attraction to Judaism created a turmoil within , that centered somewhere between personal guilt for what had taken place and a true sense of belonging to a people and their beliefs.

In all it was a fascinating lecture.