MOREHEAD CITY, Carteret County - Hilde Sensale was born in Germany in 1926. When World War II started, she was one of the thousands of Germans who contributed to the war effort.
"Of course the young men, they were all on the front lines during the war," she said. "So we had to take care of some of the farming, building the cockpits for fighter planes."
She said her mom wanted her to be girlier, but she was actually happy to be a member of a Hitler Youth group.
"There was no choice," Sensale said. "I mean, I could not go to college, so I had to do something else."
Her childhood in Germany is now the inspiration for a new historical novel called "Darker the Night." It's by Morehead City author Lisa London.
"At one point she said something to me about her Hitler Youth Group," London said. "And I knew she was a German war bride, but it didn't occur to me that she was probably in a Hitler Youth group."
London said she wrote the book to shed light on what life was like as a German citizen during the war.
"As I was doing the research with the propaganda quotes and everything, it was so interesting to me how gradual it was," London said.
Sensale said she saw a lot of suffering in Germany.
"The people themselves were suffering as a result of the bombing, you know, personal loss," she said.
She left the suffering behind when she married her husband, an American GI sent to Germany. And while much has been written and learned in the years since Hitler's Germany, Sensale wouldn't change her life experiences.
"It was a good experience," she said. "I don't regreat it in the sense that I was forced to do certain things. I don't regret that."
"Darker the Night" is on sale in local bookstores and can be purchased on Amazon.com.
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