Join the Coronado Historical Association for our final Wine & Lecture this Spring, Save the Last Bullet. Heidi Langbein-Allen’s father, Willi Langbein, was thirteen when the Nazis took him away from his parents under the pretense of protecting him. The real reason was to mold him into cannon-fodder for use against the Russian army. Willi was sent to the Eastern Front at age fourteen in the last days of the war to stave off the advance of the Russians. Neither he nor his classmates were expected to return alive from the final battles of the Third Reich.
Having survived the war against all odds, Willi returned home to find everything he knew destroyed. Numb and confused, he was mandated to serve one year of forced farm labor, putting his life on hold. After his release, he gradually realized that all he was taught to believe in was a lie and sinks into depression. Eventually, he began to heal through a fortuitous friendship with a kind British soldier. Through him, Willi glimpsed his future: he can do his part to ensure that the evil he witnessed is never again repeated. Ultimately, he succeeded by earning the Medal of European Merit in 1979 for his contribution to the advancement of democracy in Europe.
Join us for this moving lecture of Willi’s story, told from his perspective as a child soldier in the Nazi army. You will be moved by this story of innocence lost and despair, but also of grit and determination, and of hope restored.
Important Registration Information: Capacity is limited and reservations are required. No walk-ins will be admitted.
If you have any questions please email email@example.com or call (619) 435-7242.
About the Author:
Heidi Langbein-Allen is a first-time author. Her debut book, Save the Last Bullet: Memoir of a Child Soldier in Hitler’s Army was published in October, 2022, by Pen & Sword Military, an imprint of Pen & Sword Books Ltd. Excerpts of her book first aired in 2021 in the top-rated World War Two podcast Fighting Through WWII Memoirs Podcast, and a chapter of her manuscript was included in the San Diego Writer's Association 2021 anthology A Year in Ink. She has appeared in several other podcasts, radio shows and television, including an appearance in the San Diego Fox 5 Evening News (KSWB-TV). Her book is a 2023 International Firebird Book Award winner.
She wrote her father Willi Langbein’s memoirs from his taped recollections and records of her interviews with him. The story of her father's traumatic ordeal as a boy soldier in Hitler's Army is an account in his own words of the horrors of the Third Reich, witnessed and experienced from his perspective as a child. Willi was just thirteen when the Nazis took him away from his parents under the pretext of protecting him from Allied bombing. Their real reason was to turn him into cannon fodder for use against Hitler’s enemies. He was deployed to the collapsing Eastern Front in the last days of the war.
Heidi felt compelled to write and publish her late father’s story because of its relevance to current events. She was raised in Germany, France and Spain and lives in Escondido, California with her husband, a retired U.S. Navy veteran. They have two children. She is working on two literary projects: her second book, a historical account of her Spanish family, and an anthology of true accounts of teenagers’ experiences at the end of World War Two.