True to Both My Selves | From the Slightly Foxed bookshelves
Introducing the latest addition to the Slightly Foxed Editions list, No. 62: True to Both My Selves By the time she was 14 Katrin FitzHerbert had lived in nearly thirty different places and attended fourteen schools – an unusual childhood, and the more so because it gave her two separate identities, one formed in the Germany of the Third Reich, the other in England after the Second World War. In True to Both My Selves, winner of the 1998 J. R. Ackerley Prize for autobiography, Katrin FitzHerbert tells the gripping story of her family, beginning with the marriage of her German expatriate grandfather and English grandmother, in London in 1905. Their fate was decided by an ugly and little-known chapter in British history, the ill-treatment of the quiet, law-abiding German minority in Britain during the First World War. Expelled by the British Government in 1919 and with their 8-year-old daughter Elfreda in tow, the couple finally and thankfully left to make a new life in a small German town near Berlin. By 1931 Elfreda had fallen in love and married the German man who in 1936 would become the author’s father, a committed member of the Nazi Party employed in the Hitler Youth administration, whom Katrin idolized. In True to Both My Selves she gives a fascinating inside account of what it was like to grow up in a National Socialist state . . .