Based on a true story, Save Me Twice is a compelling piece of historical fiction written by E.A Dustin, which tells the story of sixteen-year-old Karl Elheusch. In 1945, at a time when Hitler’s Germany is losing its grip on the war, Karl and his brother Hans are taken from their home in the middle of the night by Karl’s childhood friend, and forced to join the SS. In the present day, Karl visits his daughter in America, but things don’t quite go to plan when he’s taken ill at the airport, and subsequently dreams about his past.
Save Me Twice is a gripping, detailed account of Karl’s wartime experience; from being ripped away from his parents, his time in the SS and the horrors that came with it; to being held by the Russians before escaping and becoming a Prisoner of War.
It’s evident that a lot of research went into the writing of this book, with facts about the Second World War dotted throughout. The real Karl’s own account of his time in the war, in the form of handwritten snippets, is also featured within the book and provides a poignant addition to the story, reminding readers of the effect the war had on individuals, and that there were no doubt many other boys just like Karl who were taken from their families and never returned. Save Me Twice is laden with facts, and at times it may have benefited with more insight into Karl’s feelings, but that doesn’t detract from what is a well-written and descriptive story portraying the grim reality of war, and how families were torn apart by Hitler’s crusade.
Save Me Twice is a touching tale of family, friendship and courage, with a neat, heart-warming twist at the end which is sure to leave the reader desperate for more. This important and engaging tale, bringing previously a unknown story of bravery to light, is well worth a read.