German World War II Wehrmacht veteran and US Army veteran Dr. Wolfram Forster joins VBC Happy Hour to tell us about his harrowing route from Hitler’s Germany to the United States.

Wolfram shares his story in his memoir, Farewell, Berlin: My World War II Story of Surviving Hitler’s Germany and Embracing Life in America. Wolfram grew up in Berlin during the reign of Hitler.

It was a time when German citizens were so deprived of freedom that a dentist was executed simply for confiding in a patient that he held a shadow of doubt about the fate of Hitler’s war.

While Wolfram and his family struggled to live any kind of normal life during the height of World War II, he clung to two dreams for his future: to someday live in America and to become a doctor. To have any hope of realizing those dreams, however, he would need to navigate an endless trail of fear, terror, heartbreak, confusion, injustice and the constant threat of annihilation while living in Europe at a time when life was turned upside down.

First, he had to survive the relentless Allied bombing of Berlin. One day he discovered his neighborhood movie theater blown to pieces just hours after sirens blared as a signal for him and his mother to get out, and a factory where he was assigned to work was destroyed on the day he was forced to stay home with an illness.

Still, he marveled at the American B-17s and B-24s soaring in formation over his city and vowed that one day he would fly in one. Called to serve as a German soldier in the final months of the war, he was captured by the Allies and held as a POW by three different national militaries: the Americans, the French, and the Russians.

Finally, almost two years after the end of the war, he gained his freedom. Over time, and overcoming many new obstacles, he found his way to fulfill those two childhood goals, becoming a noted radiologist treating patients from inside the power circles of Washington, DC and going on to serve as a Colonel in the U.S. Army.

Farewell, Berlin tells the almost unimaginable story of Wolfram Forster. With honesty, warmth and vivid detail, it provides a close-up look inside a world rarely glimpsed by anyone who has ever been curious about the long years of bloodshed and turmoil of World War II.