The Second World War left Europe divided between the West, controlled by NATO forces, and the East controlled by Russian forces. A giant fence or wall was erected, running all the way from the Baltic to the Adriatic, to ensure no one left or entered the eastern Bloc without permission. The effects felt in Germany were colossal. On the West Side of the wall people became part of the FRD, able to have all the freedom and opportunities one associates with the Western World. But those on the East were kept in the Dark Ages, controlled by a government that conspired to keep its people imprisoned against their will. Whilst covering all the important historical facts of this infamous division, it is actually Antrack's ability to illuminate the human aspect so vividly that makes this, his latest work, such a compelling read. Born in East Germany, the author's own family is torn asunder after the war. Some live in Bavaria in West Germany, while others are trapped in East Germany. He however manages to settle in the UK with his English wife. A great believer in democracy, he takes every opportunity to work hard and succeed, but his thoughts are never far away from his unfortunate relations.
So he begins a quest to see his German family once again. A quest that takes him on a series of driving excursions through Europe, where, with great difficulty and danger, he gains entry through various checkpoints along the East-West divide - leading him into the eastern Bloc countries. This frank and sometimes funny tale shows us much of the author's indomitable spirit as he turns intrepid explorer, searching out his lost childhood dreams within the Eastern Bloc, and trying to grasp exactly how far-reaching the effects of the Iron Curtain really are. Yet behind these jovial personal recollections lies the grim reality of families ripped apart and countries crushed by the ravages of war, reminding one of the true costs of military conflict.