Non-Fiction Books:

Inside the Parrot Cage

Dialogues and Reflections on History and Trauma



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Inside the Parrot Cage: Dialogues and Reflections on History and Trauma by Dr. Gerda Wever-Rabehl

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Inside the Parrot Cage begins with the stories Joachim tells Jean as his life nears its end. His earliest memory is that of playing and getting trapped inside a parrot cage at his aunt's hotel. This early confinement forms a powerful metaphor for his life of imprisonment, isolation and displacement. Sent into the war at the age of sixteen in a desperate attempt by the Germans to avoid defeat, Joachim quickly thereafter ended up in a Soviet camp for four years. Upon return in 1948, three years after his home and home-town had been invaded and handed over to Poland, he was officially a 'DP', a displaced person. Ending up in North-America many years later was no salvation. Though he was a child at the time with little choice but to become a soldier in the German army, people saw him as a 'nazi', a criminal. Joachim's narrations center around his ceaseless alientation, his lost humanity and the way in which the deliberate cruelty of the Soviet Gulag found a future. Yet in the process of chronicling these painful narrations, Jean and Joachim meet as equals. And in this egalitarian position, humanity can be restored.
Release date NZ
November 12th, 2004
Country of Publication
United States
black & white illustrations
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