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Publisher's Summary

A prize-winning Dutch journalist's unsparing memoir of growing up amid the excesses, triumphs, and devastation of post-World War II Europe.

What can a son say upon discovering that his father wore a Nazi uniform? Reporter Alexander Münninghoff was only 4 when he found this mortifying relic from his father's recent past in his attic. This shameful memento came to symbolize not only his father's tragically misguided allegiance but also a shattered marriage and ultimately the unconscionable separation of a mother and son.

In this revelatory memoir, the author confronts his parents' complex past as he reconstructs the fortunes and disillusions of an entire family upheaved during the changes of 20th century Europe. The Münninghoffs were driven by greed, rebellion, and rage. An embattled dynasty, they were torn between the right and the wrong side of history. Their saga haunted Alexander's life for the next 70 years.

Only in reconciling with them can this man find the courage to move forward as son and heir to the startling legacy of a flawed yet grand tradition.

©2014 Alexander Münninghoff (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved. Translation © 2020 by Kristen Gehrman.

What listeners say about The Son and Heir

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Very Interesting

I enjoyed the story/memoir. I found it interesting because it dealt with a different type of life then the life I was familiar with during and after World War II. History, geography, and real lives...Never perfect and often dysfunctional.
At first I wasn't sure how the story was going to be woven, and I had considered not finishing it based on a friend's not finishing it because she didn't think she would like it.
'The Son and Heir' sat in my library until I could clear out I didn't want. I came across this book again, and decided to try it again. I am very happy I completed this story. It was deeply interesting and it was very easy to listen to because the narrator was wonderful. The narrator invites us into this family history... it was a great memoir right to the end!

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Another side

Amazon offered this book as a free selection on World Day (and Audible provided excellent narration at a low price). I am so glad I took up the offer on this well written work. My bloodlines go back to the Baltic region of the globe. However, I am on the side of the persecuted instead of the elite. So much has been written and disseminated about the persecuted. It was enlightening to get a perspective from the elite side whose lives may have been just as fractured.

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The Son and Heir

Parts of this book was enjoyable to listen to, but other parts were pretty bland. I believe that I gained some insight into that era of history.

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historical Information

I did struggle to finish this book, although it was very informative. A good bit of information was imparted about the history of that time and the different players involved.

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  • Jonathan M
  • 08-14-21

An excellent tale

What a surprise this turned out to be! An amazing story of a family surviving the Second World War and the twist and turns of its members in peacetime and beyond. Such a good tale told beautifully.