95-year-old Tahoe local pens novel detailing life in WWII, Nazi Germany | SierraSun.com
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95-year-old Tahoe local pens novel detailing life in WWII, Nazi Germany

Ernest Wertheim has been living off and on at Alpine Meadows for several decades.
Courtesy photo |

ALPINE MEADOWS, Calif. — There are probably not more than a few long-time locals (in particular the Alpine Meadows locals ski crowd) who do not know Ernest Wertheim.

However, what none know is the incredible story of his life as well as his contribution to our country and to each of our individual worlds.

Ernest has written a terrific novel that encompasses the facts of his own lifetime, which begins with his comfortable childhood in Germany prior to the onset of World War II.

As a young boy, Ernest developed a deep love for flowers and gardening, and his life was good; however, the comfort and playfulness of life would soon be stripped from his world due to the rise of Hitler and the beginning of a world war right in his own backyard.

The book details real-life encounters with ignorance, hatred and bigotry; the incarceration of family members in Nazi concentration camps; and a heart-beating narrow escape from Germany at the ripe age of 19 years.

Despite challenges, the penniless Ernest was fortunate to make his way to American soil. Later, Ernest spent many years heroically fighting with the United States Army in the South Pacific under the direct leadership of Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

Today, at the age of 95 years, Ernest is a highly respected licensed landscape architect and the principal of the well-known San Francisco landscape architectural firm of Wertheim, Van der Ploeg and Klemeyer.

Ernest continues to travel the entire world teaching his trade and sharing his knowledge and respected standing as a Garden Center Designer.

Ernest continues to reside in both San Francisco and Alpine Meadows with Margrit, his beautiful wife of 72-plus years.

Ernest’s story is a true testament to the many rewards of passion, perseverance and love.

Do not miss this read. This story will both humble and encourage all reader. And I promise you this: You will never look at a ski buddy the same way — ever again.

“Chasing Spring” is available for purchase at the Bookshelf in Truckee.

Colleen McCarthy is a Truckee resident who is very proud to be one of Ernest’s friends.


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