Reviews - What do customers think about The Meeting of Anni Adams: The Butterfly of Luxembourg?
Hope and Faith Remain Nov 26, 2007
This book is an excellent choice for those who love a bit of history in their reading choice. From the beginning to the end, you find that Anni keeps her hope for a better world for herself and her family, even though the circumstances seem to hold no hope for them. The perseverance and strength that she and her family show really sticks with you while reading and makes you want to be more like them. I really enjoyed this book and am sure that you will, too!
History Speaks, We Only Have to Listen and Learn Oct 31, 2007
This coming Veteran's Day, I am going to remember a woman who was born on November 11th, 1926 at approximately 11:00 pm, Anny Jeanne Neuman was born in Luxembourg. Anny was born 8 years after the war to end all wars had officially ended. The day she was born had been set aside to commemorate peace that the world hoped would last forever. For the first 13 years of her life, Anny grew up in a home where she was loved and nurtured by her hard working parents. She visited relatives in France. She was an inquisitve and happy child who was a light in her family's home. But before she reached her 14th birthday, she was fleeing for her life with her family from the invading German army.
Anny and her family were not Jewish. They were Catholic. But in the initial invasion of Luxembourg, everyone was at risk of being shot on sight. They left behind virtually everything they owned to escape death in May of 1940. They entered France riding in the same type of cattle cars that would eventually be used to transport Jewish people and other 'enemies' of Germany to concentration camps. She had first had experience of what it was like to be in crammed in a train where there was standing room only for four days without food or water. When her family arrived in France, the French helped them as best as they were able, but they were under attack as well and supplies were scarce for everyone. They were given a place to live in while they were there. It was little more than a hovel, but they made the best of it.
In September of 1940, Anny and her family were allowed to return home to Luxembourg under German rule. But it was not the Luxembourg they knew and loved. Fear marched the streets. Friends disappeared in the dark hours of the night. There were rules to be followed. Anny was told she could no longer associate with her best friend who was Jewish. Indoctrination took place in the school as the Germans tried in vain to turn the citizens of Luxembourg to their way of thinking Anny even had to go through a name change to make her name more pleasing to the German conquerors. Her father was forced to fly a German flag from his window, to ignore friends, and to follwo the German rules. He did these things in order to protect his family and to ensure their survival. Anni (her new name) walked a careful line. She was deferential when she needed to be, but she also visited her Jewish friends in secret. She carried messages and packages for what one can only assume to be some type of underground network. She watched, she learned and during years of deprivation and loss, she never gave up. She never lost her sense of who she was or what was important.
Eventually, the Americans came. And the hope that had kept the Neuman family alive (along with many others), was renewed. As the Germans were pushed back and countries regained their freedom, the Neumans rejoiced. Anni found love or maybe I should say love found her. Even though life was better now that the fear had been banished from the streets. It was still a struggle. Europe had been ravaged by war and it was going to take a long time for any sort of normalcy to return to this war stricken land. Food was still scarce as were jobs and all supplies.
But Anni had dreams and the darkness of the occupation had not destroyed them, only reshaped them. And while she did not live happily ever after, she did way more than survive.
I don't want to tell you the end of her story because that would be spoiling the book that I have to share with you. I do want to say that this book has taught me and touched me more than any book that I have read for a long time. While reading it, I felt much the way I did when I saw Schindler's List. I was reading about horrible things and because I was reading them through the eyes of Anni, I understood them way more than I ever have by reading history books in school. I saw this family triumph time and time again. I saw them not fall to bitterness as so many did. Instead they continued to struggle, to hope, and to dream. They helped one another and others as they could during some of the darkest days of our world's history.
We all go through periods of difficulties and how we get through them is a measure of our character and our outlook. Sometimes we feel like no one else has ever dealt with as much as we are. They wouldn't be able to survive! How can we be expected to be in a good humor with all that is going on. Let Anni and her family be your guide. Let their courage lift you up and let their survival give you hope. Read of their struggles, then compare them to your own. Share this book with your older children so they can get a good inside look at World War II. So much is glossed over and forgotten in today's history books. Don't let them forget. Let's prevent history from repeating itself.
fascinating biography Aug 19, 2007
Born on Armistice Day in 1926 in Luxembourg, Anni Adams enjoyed traveling all over western and central Europe with her parents and siblings. By the time she was fourteen, she had been all over Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, and her home duchy. However, on the night of May 9, 1940 her wonderful world ended when the Blitzkrieg invaded the small Low Countries of Holland, Belgium, and Luxembourg to use as a spring board to attack France from inside the Maginot Line. For the next few war years, Anni survived the ordeal of occupation and refugee camp living without knowing much about her family: for instance did her clown prince brother live especially since the Germans used him as an expendable pawn on the Russian front? She came out of the war a stronger person helped somewhat by meeting and marrying American GI Charlie Adams. She adapts to being a war bride stranger in a strange land as she and Charlie raise the Adams family (not of cartoon fame) in American until he passes away in 1998.
This fascinating biography enables the reader to see how a teen survived WWII Nazi occupation. Anni does so by mentally going in and out of her cocoon made up of loving family depending on circumstances. She as "the butterfly of Luxembourg" gives the audience a deep insight into life under the German occupation. The American segment of her journey is also well written and rounds out the bio, but like the early years pales next to the four years under the Nazis. THE MEETING OF ANNI ADAMS : THE BUTTERFLY OF LUXEMBOURG is a deep look at how people survive the most harrowing nightmarish experiences caused by inhuman humans.
Lest We Forget Jun 11, 2007
Once upon a time, truly not so long ago, to use Mr. Story's metaphor, a dark Iron Eagle spread its talons across Europe bringing insane, unspeakable cruelty; bringing occupation; bringing catastrophic destruction; rending lives with its insatiable appetite for power and dominance.
One of the first countries to be torn by its iron grip was fiercely independent, resilient, and proud Luxembourg.
One of the many millions families to be plagued by the horror pulled up from the depths of the dark side of humans, was that of Albert Neuman of Esch-Sur-Alzette, Luxembourg, whose daughter's life is chronicled in Lonnie D. Story's, The Meeting of Anni Adams: The Butterfly of Luxembourg.. This is an exceptional book; a warm, deeply human story told in the `old-fashioned way' with deep detail, with heart, with soul, with faith, and within its historic framework.
While detail, heart, soul, and faith are all too often missing in modern writing, this author shares the life of Albert Neuman's family, with particular emphasis on Anni, and makes the biographic tale a treasure not to be missed.
It is significant that young Anni is born on Armistice Day, 1926. The armistice lasted only from November, 1918 to September, 1939. At best it was fragile, extremely fragile and punitive, but as populations are wont to do in the day to day world, the world succumbed to complacency; clung tenuously to the idea that the horror that was the War to End All Wars, the Great War, could not possibly be repeated, or, indeed, surpassed.
There was the Great Depression to survive.
There was swing.
And by the time of the New York World's Fair in April of 1939, when Katie Scarlett was beginning to learn of the import of home, hearth, and family, jackbooted soldiers had annexed Austria in the Anschluss, marched into the Sudetenland, and begun the ravaging of Poland.
In May of 1940, while Mr. Smith was giving Washington a lesson in morals and leadership, the Wehrmacht, Luftwaffe, SS, and Gestapo marched into the lives of the Neuman family who were evacuated in cattle cars to France, a harbinger of endless cattle cars to come, only to be sent back to their looted home when the Maginot Line was rendered meaningless by then modern warfare, and those jackboots took France and flew the Swastika on the Arc de triomphe. Anni's story is one of survival; of learning to cope with evil incorporate. Anni and Mr. Story plunge us to the depths of despair, but with his metaphor of Anni as the Butterfly of Luxembourg also fly us high and wide in this wonderful tribute to the resilience of the human spirit.
Read The Meeting of Anni Adams: The Butterfly of Luxembourg,; meet her family; suffer with them and millions upon millions of others. Learn, up close and very personally, of the impact of the insidious ripping away of freedom, step by step, day by day, dictate by dictate, execution by insane wanton execution.
This biography is not only a tribute to Anni, but to all the good, strong members of her nuclear, extended, national, and international family, just as it is to so many millions of others who have lived through the unspeakable, and yet remained who they were at soul-level, not succumbing to flirtation with, nor collaboration with, personified evil.
You will meet those who did the later; but more often you will meet those who stood firm for the sanctity of freedom, of human dignity.
I have called this a tale told in `the old-fashioned way' and gloriously. It is that. It includes personal notes by the author, it includes horror, pain, despair, starvation, joy, justice, injustice, hope, faith, and yes, love too. Anni meets her GI Joe, Charlie Adams, who, and against incredible odds, emerges as caring, as compassionate, as strong a father and husband as Albert Neuman. It is a joy to read of such men and their absolute devotion of family.
Life brings us much; we too often are complacent -- or otherwise occupied -- to see what is being written on the wind, brought to potential catastrophic reality around us. Anni Adams will remind you of that. It will also take you inside the Neuman family and make you question: If this had been me, how well would I have managed?
For The Meeting of Anni Adams: The Butterfly of Luxembourg, a ***** recommendation for Mr. Story's work. A must read. Bravo!
A Fantastic Insight and Impactful Writing; What a Life! Jun 1, 2006
This story is so very interesting from the end to the beginning, because that is almost the way it should be read. Having finished the book, it seems almost novelistic, but it is a true story. Anni Adams lived a very unusual life, encountered and survived nearly unimaginable experiences. What was most impressive was the theme of hope and faith that she carried through it all. The author weaves a tale of reality but presents it in a novel fashion. Although the work needs some serious consideration for editing, the theme is fluid and entrancing. His ability to "take" the reader to a relatively unknown country is highly respectable. By the end, although a slow start, I could not resist the temptation to return to the beginning and let the new knowledge permeate the second read. The research and presentation are highly admirable.