- Paperback: 264 pages
- Publisher: Dundurn (Sept. 20 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1554889685
- ISBN-13: 978-1554889686
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.6 x 22.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 431 g
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #701,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Letter from Frank: An Unlikely Second World War Friendship Paperback – Oct 24 2011
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A second generation memoir o by the son of a Canadian soldier. Looks at the war from the perspective of the next generation.
This book gives a new perspective on soldiers from both sides of the conflict. It compares how their lives evolved post-war.
Features an emotional reunion with Frank Sikora and Steve Colombo, the son of his Canadian counterpart Russ Colombo.
About the Author
Stephen J. Colombo is a research scientist with a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. He has published more than 100 scientific papers and two books. A Letter from Frank is his first non-technical book. He currently lives in Toronto.
Top customer reviews
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Even though he wasn't able to receive direct information from his father(the Canadian soldier), he was able to tell a very credible story of his father's involvement in the war.
Actually finding Frank (the German soldier), and being able to tell his version of the war years makes for interesting reading. I learned much about pre-war Germany and the surrounding countries and their people - including the prejudice that existed before the war and then was exacerbated by the war.
There are many historical facts in the book which at times, astound and at times, appall. It is a story of naivete and courage, of evil and generosity, of ignorance and arrogance, of the ugliness of war, but also how people can sometimes see beyond the hatred to reach out to each other in kindness.
The whole story of finding a lone letter written many years ago, and then tracing the origins of the letter is a fascinating one. It was obviously a work of love for the authour and he written a splendid book.
It is however Colombo's focus on the lives of Russ and Frank, one Canadian and one German, from childhood to their senior years, that makes the story come to life. The many personal anecdotes and stories bring out the strengths and weaknesses of these 2 men. They are ordinary people, joining a war where they were "trained and told to kill, although society teaches this is the most abhorrent behaviour imaginable." Off the battle field, these men obviously have the capacity and willingness to become friends, even though they could have killed one another in combat only days earlier. How does any soldier come to terms with these opposing motivations and actions?
Colombo's clear, simple writing style make this book accessible to many different readers. I will definitely encourage my teenage son to read it, and will also give a copy to my father-in-law, a war veteran himself. I am certain they will both become engrossed in this true story.
I lived through the same story Steve did and always wondered why my Dad became silent when asked about his life during those very trying times. Steve's writing brought back those memories of my Dad and the valor of those men. This book is another reminder as to why they are considered the greatest generation.
Stephen's sympathy with his father is remarkable given how, as a father, he was not able to give his children the emotional support that is so much needed. I saw reflected in his story my own experiences with a father who was a war veteran and hero to many he returned to, but for some inexplicable reason was not able to connect, particularly to a son.
With Stephen's book in hand, I wept, I smiled, I explored. I shall pass on my copy of this book to another child of a war vet, this time from a ethnic german family. I think he will find it equally comforting.
Well done Stephen.
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