Auslander by Paul Dowswell

Publishers’ blurb

A tense and dramatic story of growing up in Berlin during World War Two. When Piotr’s parents are killed he is taken to an orphanage in Warsaw. But Piotr is a ‘volksdeutscher’ – of German blood with the result that he is adopted by a German family and taken to live at the heart of the Nazi power, in Berlin. How Piotr becomes Peter and adapts to the new life and particularly how he discovers that behind the apparent adulation of Hitler there are many dissenters taking great risks is a thrilling story which also offers fascinating insight into the lives of young Germans during the Second World War.

Further information

Paul Dowswell’s website


12 comments on “Auslander by Paul Dowswell

  1. I wasn’t all that impressed with Paul Dowswell’s book because it isn’t the sort of thing that most people are into because of the first and second world war.When the germans took over poland and when some one talks about Warsaw for example it pains some people but in the book Auslander it talks about polish people being bombed and why is it that for a change people can’t about what’s good about what was good about polad before the world war.And for those reasons i think that this book shouldn’t be on the short list


  2. Auslander paints a unique picture of the horrors of fascist Germany and wartime Berlin that is compelling to teenagers and adults alike. The character of Peter (the “Auslander” in the title), a Polish orphan boy with German heritage, is considered by Nazi definitions a perfect specimen of human being. With this he is sent to a Nazi family in Berlin and is forced to join the Hitler Youth Party. However, Peter is not remotely sympathetic to the Nazi party and becomes ever more horrified at the treatment and attitude towards Poles and Jews, gradually rebelling against his family and party members. He takes a huge risk in becoming involved with the free -thinkers, those who avidly oppose the Nazi regime. The writer’s description of his eventual attempts to flee this regime, which place him and his new found love and her family in grave danger, makes for an agonisingly compelling page turner.

    Important historical events leading up to the WW2, namely the German invasion of Poland, the extermination of thousands of Poles and Jews, as well as Germany’s pivotal defeat at Stalingrad in 1943 are considered. The barbarism that Nazis imposed on Jews is not explicitly detailed. However, the writer cleverly implies this in several scenes. Dowsell also importantly demonstrates the horrors that war and oppression brought to millions of German people living through such terrifying times.

    Definitely one for the shortlist.

  3. I havent finished auslander and i am about a 3 quarters of the way through. although I havent finished i am thoroughly enjoying the book and I am hooked to the story.

  4. i read this book and thought it was good. I like reading about ww2. 🙂

  5. Peter is a Polish orphan with German Blood. He is adopted by a Nazi Professor and his family who live in Berlin. He joins the Hitler Youth and and makes friends. However he starts a relationship with a girl whose parents are anti-Nazis and starts to see that the Nazis aren’t as good as they say they are.
    I think the book was really good and had a good storyline.

  6. This book was brilliant and it sounded as if the author did lots of research. I would recommend this book to anyone. It was great 😀 I loved the way the book started with pitr waiting in line to get examined and i loved the ending. It feels as if you can see what is happening because it is that well explained.It was good when pitr’s name was changed to peter and he joined the hitler youth.I loved the ending when peter and his girlfriends family (Sorry: spoiler alert – Catalyst admin). it was a brilliant book.:)

  7. I thought that Auslander was good book I felt that I was actually in the book. Paul Dowswell put a lot of thought into what it would be like for Piotr during the 2nd world war. This book had an interesting storyline and had great detail towards the character. Piotr then realises that Nazis are bad people and takes a stand. This book was good.

  8. Paul Dowswell put a lot of thought into Auslander and paid great attention to detail. It gives you a good idea of how life would be during World War Two for children and orphans. We think if the author had given a first person narrative of Piotr then we would have warmed to the character quicker in the story. It gives you a good idea of how scary it would have been to live in Warsaw during the Second World War and how although Piotr is a member of the Nazi Youth, like many other children, he disagrees with a lot of their views. We think the characters were portrayed well and overall was a very good and interesting novel.

  9. Right now i am half way through the book. But so far I am really enjoying it. I think that the character of the Peter is very brave as he had to go through the loss of his loved ones and is then sent to live with a very strong Nazi believing german family. Peter falls for a girl called Anna Reiter and they fall in love. I havent read much further on but i hope that the ending is as good as the start. i really enjoy reading about ww2.

  10. It is good. All about the ww2…..

  11. hi this is daniel iv’e only just started this book but from what iv’e read its amazing. its sad at the start but well constructed and created.

    well done Paul Dowswell

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