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New World War II Novel Illuminates the Plight of War Children

PressReleasePing - March 15, 2017 -

Historical novelist Annette Oppenlander Completes True Family Saga

Bloomington, IN - After 15 years of research and writing, editing and rewriting, historical author, Annette Oppenlander, releases her fifth novel, SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND. Spanning thirteen years from 1940 to 1953 and set against the epic panorama of WWII, Surviving the Fatherland is a sweeping saga of family, love, and betrayal that illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the children's war.

“It’s been an emotional journey, sifting through my family’s past, going through countless revisions and edits,” says Oppenlander. “At some point I thought I’d never get it right. I set the manuscript aside time and time again, but the story never left me alone. It kept nagging.”

In 2002 Oppenlander interviewed her parents about their experiences as war children in Hitler’s Third Reich. While the novel provides a fictionalized account of civilian life from the perspective of war children and youth, it also offers a better understanding of what happened in post-war Germany. Despite its harsh setting and struggles, it is a story of adventure, of love and hope, and ultimately of triumphing against the odds.

“My mother was seven, my father 11 when WWII started, the deadliest conflict in human history,” says Oppenlander. “I wanted to shed some light not only on the plight of war children, but also on the history of post-war Germany. Many people assume that everything returned to normal quickly. Nothing could be farther from the truth.”

About the Story

SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND: A True Coming-of-age Love Story Set in WWII Germany tells the true and heart-wrenching stories of Lilly and Günter struggling with the terror-filled reality of life in the Third Reich, each embarking on their own dangerous path toward survival, freedom, and ultimately each other. Based on the author’s own family and anchored in historical facts, this story celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the strength of war children.

Editorial Review

"…a five-star rating…in spite of the time and the ambient war which Lilly and her family must survive, the story is not gruesome, but rather, it is a statement about the depth and strength of the human soul, and ultimately, really, of the love that drives people on in spite of all the reasons not to love. Highly recommended." –International Writers Inspiring Change (IWIC)

About the Author

Annette Oppenlander is a historical novelist who weaves past events, people and stories into a rich tapestry. When she isn’t in front of her computer, she shares her knowledge through writing workshops and indulges her old mutt, Mocha. In her spare time she travels around the U.S. and Europe to discover amazing histories. The mother of three ‘former’ teens, Annette lives with her husband in Bloomington, Ind. where she is also treasurer of the Writers Guild.

For complimentary review copies, booking presentations, media appearances, interviews, and/or book-signings, contact More information about the author is available at  


Contact: Annette Oppenlander 812.391.6310 or

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