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Review: Lonnie D. Story 's The Meeting of Anni Adams: The Butterfly of Luxembourg

By Remy Benoit

June the 6th is the anniversary of D-Day - the day the Allies landed and began the liberation of Europe.

To all of you who gave your all in World War II, our gratitude for your service; our thanks for the protection of our rights from those who wished an end to them.

Because this was the beginning of the Liberation of Europe, the beginning of the end of the Nazi horror, I thought I would share with you a review of a very special and unique book concerning those and the post-war years.

I give you Mr. Lonnie D.Story's, The Meeting of Anni Adams: The Butterfly of Luxembourg.

Once upon a time, truly not so long ago, to use Mr. Story’s metaphor, a dark Iron Eagle spread its talons across Europe bringing insane, unspeakable cruelty; bringing occupation; bringing catastrophic destruction; rending lives with its insatiable appetite for power and dominance.

One of the first countries to be torn by its iron grip was fiercely independent, resilient, and proud Luxembourg.

One of the many millions families to be plagued by the horror pulled up from the depths of the dark side of humans, was that of Albert Neuman of Esch-Sur-Alzette, Luxembourg, whose daughter’s life is chronicled in Lonnie D. Story’s, The Meeting of Anni Adams: The Butterfly of Luxembourg.. This is an exceptional book; a warm, deeply human story told in the ‘old-fashioned way’ with deep detail, with heart, with soul, with faith, and within its historic framework.

While detail, heart, soul, and faith are all too often missing in modern writing, this author shares the life of Albert Neuman’s family, with particular emphasis on Anni, and makes the biographic tale a treasure not to be missed.

It is significant that young Anni is born on Armistice Day, 1926. The armistice lasted only from November, 1918 to September, 1939. At best it was fragile, extremely fragile and punitive, but as populations are wont to do in the day to day world, the world succumbed to complacency; clung tenuously to the idea that the horror that was the War to End All Wars, the Great War, could not possibly be repeated, or, indeed, surpassed.

There was the Great Depression to survive.

There was swing.

And by the time of the New York World’s Fair in April of 1939, when Katie Scarlett was beginning to learn of the import of home, hearth, and family, jackbooted soldiers had annexed Austria in the Anschluss, marched into the Sudetenland, and begun the ravaging of Poland.

In May of 1940, while Mr. Smith was giving Washington a lesson in morals and leadership, the Wehrmacht, Luftwaffe, SS, and Gestapo marched into the lives of the Neuman family who were evacuated in cattle cars to France, a harbinger of endless cattle cars to come, only to be sent back to their looted home when the Maginot Line was rendered meaningless by then modern warfare, and those jackboots took France and flew the Swastika on the Arc de triomphe. Anni’s story is one of survival; of learning to cope with evil incorporate. Anni and Mr. Story plunge us to the depths of despair, but with his metaphor of Anni as the Butterfly of Luxembourg also fly us high and wide in this wonderful tribute to the resilience of the human spirit.

Read The Meeting of Anni Adams: The Butterfly of Luxembourg,; meet her family; suffer with them and millions upon millions of others. Learn, up close and very personally, of the impact of the insidious ripping away of freedom, step by step, day by day, dictate by dictate, execution by insane wanton execution.

This biography is not only a tribute to Anni, but to all the good, strong members of her nuclear, extended, national, and international family, just as it is to so many millions of others who have lived through the unspeakable, and yet remained who they were at soul-level, not succumbing to flirtation with, nor collaboration with, personified evil.

You will meet those who did the later; but more often you will meet those who stood firm for the sanctity of freedom, of human dignity.

I have called this a tale told in ‘the old-fashioned way’ and gloriously. It is that. It includes personal notes by the author, it includes horror, pain, despair, starvation, joy, justice, injustice, hope, faith, and yes, love too. Anni meets her GI Joe, Charlie Adams, who, and against incredible odds, emerges as caring, as compassionate, as strong a father and husband as Albert Neuman. It is a joy to read of such men and their absolute devotion of family.

Life brings us much; we too often are complacent -- or otherwise occupied -- to see what is being written on the wind, brought to potential catastrophic reality around us. Anni Adams will remind you of that. It will also take you inside the Neuman family and make you question: If this had been me, how well would I have managed?

For The Meeting of Anni Adams: The Butterfly of Luxembourg, a ***** recommendation for Mr. Story’s work. A must read. Bravo!

You may look forward to a new book by Lonnie D. Story Without a Shot Fired: The Dustin Brim Story.

For Additional Reading on subjects relating to D-Day and to the above review, please see below. Ya’ll come down and visit with us in New Orleans at The National D-Day Museum.

PBS – The American Experience – D-Day.


Gone With the Wind.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.



Hitler’s SS Men.

Arc de triomphe.

Occupied Paris.

Jewish Virtual Library: The Gestapo.

PBS – The American Experience – The Battle of the Bulge.

Battle of Bastogne.

Sinclair Lewis: It Can’t Happen Here.


D Day was the invation of Frnace by the Allies. My husband, who fought in the entire African campaign, landed in Italy (Euope) in September 1943. D Day was not the beginning of the end in Europe but after it the war in Italy, in which they suffered more casualties in one battle than was suffered on Normandy, became the "forgotten war". General Mark Clark said that the Italian campaign was the bloodiest battle that he had ever seen in any war!

Posted by: Lois Johnson, at 2007-06-08 10:46:24

I truly appreciate this article post.Much thanks again. Much obliged.

Posted by: manual social bookmarking service, at 2013-01-16 23:25:41

This item is part of historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.

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