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An Autobiography: Bastards, Bitches, and Heroes
An eye-popping inspirational memoir about the prolonged and intense traumas and great triumphs of two young brothers. They suffered severe illnesses, starvation, homelessness, exile and slavery. Then they worked themselves through college and became world travelers.
This eye-popping inspirational memoir has two parts: "The Agonies" and "The Ironies."
Herman I Neuman was born in Nazi Germany just before Hitler invaded Poland. His memoir describes the horrors that began in World War II and continued for years thereafter, mostly because his parents began a new war. Against each other. After more than twenty court processes, his family lost everything. During these wars they suffered firebombing, deathly illnesses, starvation and homelessness. When Herman and his brother were about seven and five years old, their mother forced them to scavenge food from unique places. Then she motivated them to eat it using some rather unusual, now illegal, methods. She never cooked but one meal, behind locked doors, then claimed that she had cooked a rabbit. But Herman and Siggi discovered that it had very sharp claws.
Eventually the three of them moved in with their father who had just built a luxury home. But later a judge had them physically evicted. On Christmas Eve Day. For the next year they had to squat in a stranger's attic without water, sewer, heat, power or hope.
When Herman and his brother were sixteen and fourteen years old, their relatives invited them to America and subsequently enslaved them on separate farms. Herman was allowed to bathe but once a year. At the age of twenty he still lived in isolated poverty and under almost impossible conditions.
In "The Ironies," their father gave all of his possessions, including his architectural practice, to his second wife. She then divorced him leaving him penniless. He and the boys' mother became friends again and she found him a new girlfriend, a wealthy widow. Even though he was now a pauper, he again lived in luxury until he died in Switzerland.
Herman and his brother eventually escaped their slavery. Through tenacity, self-discipline and hard work, including "the toughest job in town," they earned their way through college, became American citizens and have traveled the world. Siggi became a Senior Fulbright Scholar and has published a book, is writing another one, and has written dozens of newspaper articles. Some of the travel adventures of Herman and his wife are included in this extraordinary story of inspiration.