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It Was Fate: A War, A Massacre, A Romance
The World War II Memoirs of Nick Venturella

by GINA VENTURELLA MAGUIRE ©2017, Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-935232-47-6, 172 pp
 

Nick Venturella ensured that his memories of people and places were not lost. He entrusted a narrative of his life along with letters, photographs, documents, and newspaper articles to his granddaughter Gina, who, like a memorial candle, through his memoir, lights the way for future generations. Because of Gina‚Äôs work, Nick‚Äôs memoir will be a ‚Äúprecious legacy‚ÄĚ not only for his descendants but also for the general reader.

 

Nick Ventrella’s memoir of WWII provides readers with a window into war, from both a personal and historical perspective. Readers will applaud the service and sacrifices of these soldiers and recoil at the atrocities they encountered during their slog through Germany.

 

These atrocities are memorialized by Nick’s unit, the 102nd Ozark Infantry Division.

 

Nick‚Äôs memoir, It Was Fate‚ÄĒA War, A Massacre, A Romance, is more than war and massacres.

 

Readers will witness the blossoming of love between ‚Äúenemies,‚ÄĚ between a German Fr√§ulein and an American soldier, and will follow the two along the rocky road to the U.S.

 

Army’s marriage permission. Along this road too readers will learn about the war from a German perspective, for example, an anti-Nazi’s treatment by the Third Reich.

 

Most of all, readers will be inspired by Nick Venturella. Nick is a thoughtful and caring man, compassionate and kind. He certainly belongs among ‚Äúthe greatest generation‚ÄĚ!

Introduction............................................................................................viii

Genealogy ...............................................................................................xii

Chapter One....................Emigration from Italy, 1913...............................1

Chapter Two....................Life in Brooklyn.................................................3

Chapter Three..................A Soldier’s Life, 1943.........................................9

Chapter Four....................Fate Again, August 1944..................................24

Chapter Five.....................The Siegfried Line, Fall 1944............................27

Chapter Six......................Schloss Tripps Castle, February 1945...............31

Chapter Seven..................Crossing the Roer, January to March 1945.......36

Chapter Eight..................Gardelegen, April 1945....................................39

Chapter Nine...................The Elbe River, April 1945...............................47

Chapter Ten.....................An Irony of War, May 1945.............................52

Chapter Eleven.................Meeting Herta Rose.........................................53

Chapter Twelve................Re-Education Camps.......................................56

Chapter Thirteen..............Courting Herta Rose........................................59

Chapter Fourteen ............Marrying Herta Rose........................................66

Chapter Fifteen................The Paint Changed Color.................................71

Chapter Sixteen................Honorable Discharge to AWOL, 1948.............72

Chapter Seventeen...........Home Life in Brooklyn....................................73

Chapter Eighteen.............Back to Weissenstadt........................................76

Chapter Nineteen.............The Passing of Herta Rose................................78

Chapter Twenty................The Passing of Nick .........................................81

Timeline...................................................................................................83

About the Title.........................................................................................85

Acknowledgments....................................................................................86

Works Cited.............................................................................................88

Endnotes..................................................................................................89

Photographs...........................................................................................119

Documents ...........................................................................................139

It Was Fate: A War, A Massacre, A Romance

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