New book provides insight into Nazi Germany

All proceeds from Plagues and Placebos Part One sales will go to the Hope & District Council

Sara Lesztak


Gerd Asche has lived and worked in British Columbia for about 60 years.

He and his wife Ursula operated the Asche Medical Clinic on Wallace Street in Hope.

Many people know Asche as a highly dedicated doctor, good citizen and patron of the arts. What dangers, adventures, trials and triumphs he faced up until he moved here are now revealed in two memoir books, the first of which is Plagues and Placebos Part One.

The book provides a clear, vivid, and involving account of growing up in tumultuous mid-20th century Germany – the Nazi era’s rise from the First World War and the Great Depression. Asche masterfully takes the reader through his experiences step by step.

His childhood during the post-First World War reparations period endured a struggle to make ends meet. His father was a veteran who became a schoolmaster in 1919 in a rural village, Godensholt.

Asche’s youth bore witness to the Nazi party’s rise through brute force and promises of economic recovery by their policies. Also, secret changes to national history turned facts to poetic legends, and national youth work projects interrupted school years which affected all education in Germany. How did the studious family cope?

While resisting Nazi indoctrination his family suffered party oppression, and at the age of 13 Asche suddenly lost his father to its relentless grip. What could he, his mother, and two younger brothers do? As a medical student and one who disliked the Nazi regime, what choices could he make to cope being drafted? During the Allied Occupation, how did a Canadian officer from Alberta restart and complete Asche’s medical education?

The best way to find the answers to these questions and benefit from the insights in Plagues and Placebos Part One is to come to the book signing at Hope Pharmasave on April 25 between 1-3 p.m. All proceeds from book sales will go to the Hope & District Council.

The second book will be released in July 2013.