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Out of the Cold War comes a powerful and inspiring true story…

Forty Autumns Book Cover

“The [Berlin] Wall is… an offense not only against history but an offense against humanity...”
—President John F. Kennedy


Forty Autumns tells the story of what happened to one family during Cold War. It is a story of a divided Germany - of eighteen million people trapped in a country knowing that freedom lay just beyond its borders - and about the four decade clash of communism and democracy, the Soviet-American superpower fight for dominance in the space race, the nuclear arms race and battles around the globe that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.

Most notably, Forty Autumns is a timeless story of humanity – about faith, courage, resilience and the power of the human spirit.

In Forty Autumns, Nina recounts her family’s story…ordinary lives buffeted by circumstances beyond their control. She takes us deep into the tumultuous and terrifying world of East Germany under Communist rule, revealing both the cruel reality her relatives endured and her own experiences as an intelligence officer, running secret operations behind the Berlin Wall that put her life at risk.


Rich in drama and beautifully evocative…Nina Willner (has) discovered an extraordinary story. In Forty Autumns she vividly brings to life many accounts of courage and survival, set against the backdrop of four decades that divided a nation and the world.