Klaus Hillenbrand

Not With Us - The Life of Leonie and Walter Frankenstein

(German title: Nicht mit uns)
ca. 251 pages
Klaus Hillenbrand

Klaus Hillenbrand

Klaus Hillenbrand, born in 1957, lives in Berlin, working as a journalist for taz.

Sold to

Sweden (Atlantis)


Two young people meet and fall in love in Berlin in 1941. Leonie Rosner and Walter Frankenstein decide to marry, and their first son Peter-Uri is born in 1943. In order to escape deportation to one of the death camps, the Frankensteins go underground with their six-week-old baby.

Determined to hold onto their lives, the couple pulls off the incredible feat of survival for themselves, Peter-Uri and Michael, the son born in the underground in 1944. They have no documents or money, just their own courage and the solidarity offered by others.

The liberation of 1945 does not mean their odyssey is at an end. The family decides to leave Germany for a new life in Israel. The British mandatory power places Walter Frankenstein in an internment camp when he attempts to enter Palestine, and the family is separated for two long years. Their efforts to build up a new life in Israel follow, together with the 1948 war of independence and the years spent building the young Jewish state.

Not With Us is the incredible tale of a Jewish family’s survival in Nazi Germany, the impressive biography of two people who defied the murderous persecution.