The story of the Fried family is in many ways a characteristic story of the suffering of Jewish citizens in the Third Reich. But it is also a special story, because it presents men and women who dared resist the Nazis.
Amelie Fried's grandfather was an Austrian Jew who lived in Ulm as the owner of the Pallas Shoe Shop. After 1933, he attracts the attention of the Nazis who place his shop on the index of enterprises to be boycotted by »respectable Germans«. Thus begins the Fried family's struggle for survival, which sometimes takes on almost grotesque aspects. The grandfather, seeking protection, can appeal only to the town's most ardent Nazi who has become chief of police. When the harassment becomes unbearable, the family even considers trading places with a German living in Austria, the owner of a detective agency and a rabid Hitlerite. But the plan falls through when Austria becomes part of the German Reich.
While close relatives perish in the concentration camp, Fried's grandfather survives by pure chance. After the war, the family resumes its middle-class life in Ulm. Amelie Fried's father becomes a successful magazine publisher but refuses to talk about the Nazis. His daughter begins to research the family history – so her own children may understand what happened in those troubled times.
Her book is both a moving family story and a lesson in German history.