Background: Author Arthur Rathburn met Maria Nuernberger and Kaethe Bensch, friends of his wife, in the 1960’s. Later in long conversations at their home in Berlin the wonderful story, as revealed in Friends Don’t Quit, mesmerized Arthur and his wife Ursula. To document and authenticate the story, hours of library and in-situ research were undertaken. The book is a fascinating and touching personal story, and an accurate documentation of the living conditions in Berlin from 1919 until 1948.
Style: The book, though a true story, is written in the format of a novel. The reader must be warned that some sections of the book are very graphic. This is not meant to shock or create any sort of morbid fascination. The fact is that there is no way to soften the stark reality of war and its consequences. The author’s intent was to document the story of Maria and her friends in an honest and no holds barred book that truly portrayed the brave and faithful nature of this amazing woman and the fate of many such women in the turbulent times of WW II.
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Readers critiques and comments:
“The most loving, compassionate story of friendship and devotion ever!”
“It is gripping in the sense of reader concern for the hardship and eventual survival of the two female friends living in Berlin during the city’s gradual war-torn destruction within World War II.”
“It is a highly informative perspective of two women in the unique position of eves-dropping telephone operators who are intimately privy to the daily dialogue and interactions of official and war correspondents as the war escalates and Hitler’s regime, including Berlin, is gradually doomed”
“…the tale is inspiring in that the merit of lasting friendship is well portrayed from beginning to end and through thick and thin, giving the title on-target appropriateness.”
” (This book further demonstrates) Arthur Rathburn’s story-telling skill for putting hundreds of striking events into highly readable narrative.”