Florence understood instinctively that beauty, as well as money, was power; and she had both in abundance.
Florence Gould was an intelligent, conniving, self-centered, savvy business woman, but most of all she was a survivor. She survived the San Francisco earthquake and fire as a child, a major flood in France, World War I and World War II. Her survival skills came into play again with her questionable connections with top officials of The Third Reich which was a contention with FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover, after the war. Hoover tried everything to get her convicted for aiding and abetting the enemy to no avail. She was definitely a force to be reckoned with.
Her open marriage to a very wealthy and shrewd American multimillionaire, Frank Gould, gave her the opportunities she needed to become an independent wealthy woman in her own right by investing in real estate and art, though obtained under dubious conditions. It’s known that many of her art purchases were bought from collections taken by the Nazis from French Jews. Though rumors said she was an anti-Semite, Ronald supposes that Florence didn’t care one way or another. She preferred to have fun rather than worry about “political rumblings”, and being the self-serving woman she was, she chose to help both sides when it suited her. Continue reading “#BookReview: A Dangerous Woman – The Life of Florence Gould by Susan Ronald @susanron @StMartinsPress”
“I guess sometimes the search for freedom is enough to keep one alive.”
Melitta and her family’s experience in Nazi Germany in WWII was something that no one wants to contemplate, but it happened and she has written a short, but stirring memoir about it. In Weimar, Germany, Melitta was born on September 3, 1944 and she was taken from her mother in the hospital in order to perform experiments on her. However, miraculously, she was returned to her family 6 months later with no side effects resulting from the time away. Her story covers the frightening journey her family took for freedom and how they finally found peace.
Melitta eventually moved to the United States along with some of her siblings and was asked if she would give any comments to Americans regarding freedom. She replied: “I have come to deeply love this country and what it stands for, but much has changed and is changing. We must be vigilant against those who wittingly and unwittingly destroy our freedom. Bad politicians can do that.”
There is a lot of impact squeezed into this short book and I recommend it to people of all ages.
Thank you to Melitta Strandberg and Bostick Communications for giving me the opportunity to review this book. Also reviewed on LibraryThing, Amazon and GoodReads.
Was Australia a haven for Nazi’s?
The book starts out with the story of a young, wounded soldier named Peter who deserts the German army in WWII to find refuge with a Polish couple. He is destined to leave Europe and moves to Australia to start a new life under a new name.
This is also a coming of age story in the present about a young teen named Eric who is trying to fit in at his new school on the coast of Australia. He has issues with his parents who fight incessantly and he finds that surfing and Pepper, a cool surfer girl, are his new passions.
Peter and Eric meet and form a new bond that is full of secrets and a creepy man named Baum threatens to expose Peter even though he has a notorious past of his own.
This was a good, not great, read. It exposes the secret that Australia and other countries harbored Nazis and members of the Nazi party after WWII where “few were hunted down and none were caught and put on trial.”