During the opening months of World War II, Vassar-educated career woman Rulka Langer (1906–1993) risked her life and relied on her wits to keep her two small children and elderly mother out of harms way. The Mermaid and the Messerschmitt is a rare eyewitness account of the early, chaotic days of WWII — the Nazi German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, the Siege of Warsaw and the first few months of the Occupation — written by a young working mother. Langers engaging, clear-eyed chronicle sparkles with fresh and lively storytelling and a brilliant eye for detail. Weaving her story with a masterful use of humor, an occasional bite of sarcasm and a large dose of honesty, Langer paints a vivid picture of this virtually unknown aspect of WWII — and at the same time illuminates universal truths about average, ordinary people faced with war. More than 100 black & white photos, maps and illustrations; Afterword from author; Epilogue by authors son; contextualizing historical material; discussion questions; Lifetime TV interview. SELECTION of the BOOK-OF-THE-MONTH CLUB, HISTORY BOOK CLUB and MILITARY BOOK CLUB. Audiobook available from Audible.com. Absolutely one of the best eyewitness accounts of WWII Poland.--Alan Furst, bestselling author of The Foreign Correspondent; Moving, laced with grim humor, accessible to a modern audience.--College & Research Libraries News; Adrenalin charged…unsparing candour and flashes of humor.--The Ottawa Citizen; A gripping, fast-paced narrative…takes you to the centre of the drama.--Cosmopolitan Review; Must-read for anyone interested in World War II.--Lev Raphael, author of My Country; I couldnt put the book down. Her story is riveting…utterly contemporary and compelling.--Fontayne Holmes, City Librarian, Los Angeles Public Library (2004–2008).