But, was it better then?

About a week ago I was invited by a local reading group to answer questions of their members in regard to our school system during the war years in Berlin. Some of the questions  were easy to answer, but some others were more difficult. First of all the questions showed me the vast difference in the concept of our upbringing during the Forties in Berlin.  To sum it up evenly, I know that our parents and teachers tried to raise adults. This is in stark contrast to the current belief that children should be children as long as possible. Believe me, I am not trying to stir up a controversial subject. I am not a teacher, just a story teller, about forgotten times. However, one of the readers remarked that she is the grandmother of a 17 year old.  She thought that her grandson would have been hard pressed to survive the […] Read more »

Time to bake a cake

Well, the fourth book, Partners To A Degree, is finally finished. I say ‘finally’ because I rewrote the book several times.  On one hand I needed to end the story of Karl and on the other hand I wanted  to report about Harold and his experiences during the historical events of the first few weeks of the Russian occupation. This second part was not so easy because I had to rely on the notes which I kept from my later meetings with Harold, and on the reports I received from him over the years.  So, I am sorry to say, it took several rewrites to get it right and to include the vital parts of the story. And, just like the first three books, the story is true and all of the characters as well as the places existed. Now the book is off and in the hands of my […] Read more »

Questions from one of my valued readers.

Over the last  three or four weeks I received many varied questions from my readers and tried to answer each and one of them individually. However,  Ms. Bunny, asked several questions  which might be  of interest to many, if not all of my readers. The answers might shock a few people who never read international accounts of that time. Let’s see if I am able to do this in a neutral and balanced way.. First of all the personal questions which are easy to answer. 1) Do I know what happened to my grandfather? No, All I knew that after his wife, my grandmother died, he was unable to keep his mouth shut and I think that this was the reason for his arrest by the SS. These prisoners, as well as homosexuals, were used as cannon fodder, Meaning they were sent to the front line. The line of the […] Read more »

Free Enterprise ! (?) !

Let’s see how best to start this post. It is, in a way, intended to (partially)  answer the question when my next book is being published. Well, my friends, life happens ………….. If you followed my posts on this site, you know that we have a small ranch in northern California and besides our variety of animals and pets, we also have two studio apartments.  They are clean, carpeted, one room units with a studio kitchen and a bathroom. Not much to write home about.  In order to offer a small convenience to our tenants, we also provide a washer in a separate room. That was a mistake, a major one as it turned out. To put it as simple as possible: One of our tenants, an otherwise nice lady, must have read something about unlimited opportunities in the free enterprise system.  She opened up a laundry service for her […] Read more »

A word of clarification

I feel that I need to clarify a few points based upon some of the reviews I have received. It could be that I was not clear enough in my books or perhaps, some readers simply missed them. One of my readers commented that he did not know about the KLV ( children evacuation)  camps.  I cannot say for certain why he never heard about them, but I do want to remind my readers that  I am writing about my personal experiences in Berlin and in that respect, I have firsthand knowledge of the camps.  There is also a great deal of information about them on the internet as well. Berlin, as well as Dresden, Hamburg  and a few other cities were the major target of the allied air attacks. In some of the cities, like Berlin, these air attacks lasted over two years. Dresden experienced a fire storm which […] Read more »

A Loaded Question

Yesterday I received the following comment from a valued reader: “I am also a Vietnam veteran and just finished all three of your books, and loved them. Personally I would make them mandatory reading for all 14 year old boys today if I could. I think you have a lot that could be taught to them. Thank You Nat” Here is my answer of today, you can also read it in the comments below my post : “Sitting on a football” Hello Nat, It is nice to hear from another Vietnam veteran and I am honored that you like my books. Yes, sometimes I think that I should send the book “Loyal to a degree” to a school administrator and ask him if he would be interested to give me an hour to talk to their history class. It would be interesting for the children as I am one of […] Read more »

Prequel : “Children to a degree” released

Well, I finished writing my third book. It was released by my virtual assistant Christina Haas of Zenith Business Solutions on November 20th and the paperback edition should be out by next week. Shortly after Thanksgiving. Chris did also the formatting and for the third time also did  the cover art = book cover, and I can’t thank her enough for all her diligent work and her constant support. As I mentioned on this site before, I wrote this third book in response to the many questions I received from my readers regarding the “early years”  of Karl. So while it is actually my third book it is also a prequel. While I trust that I answered all of the pertinent questions, I realize that “Children to a degree” will probably trigger additional questions and I cannot emphasize enough that I am available to answer or discuss any comments you […] Read more »

Sitting on a football

A few days ago as I was working on the prequel I tried to think of the funnier (funnier = is this a word?) memories of 1943. Nothing came to my mind because there was not much fun. However, I did remember something from 1947, but it does not fit into the time frame of my books.. At that time a sister of my father lived in the USA and she sent us a “care” package to Germany . It was filled with all the goodies: flour, sugar, chocolate, Crisco, soap, and a shirt for my father. And then, my, brother who was 10 years old at that time, pulled a strange item from the package.  It was made from brown leather and kind of oblong, oval , if you will. It looked like a ball but it was not round. It had a small paper note taped on the […] Read more »

Garden work vs yard work

This is not intended to be a major lesson, but I like to keep in touch with my readers and not much happened in the last two weeks. My cover art designer and VA , Chris Haas,  told me in an email that my book ‘Trust to a degree’  is now available on Amazon in the paper back edition. She also mentioned that she is battling some wasps ‘Yellow Jackets” . This prompted me to ask her if she knew (what the English people consider )  the difference between garden work and yard work? Here is her answer: Hmmm, not sure what the English think the difference between yard work and garden work is but maybe yard work has nothing to do with working on your lawn at home.  Or if it does, then maybe yard work is work while garden work is pleasure.  Then again, yard work could be […] Read more »

A short update on the prequel

As of to day, September 22, 2013, I finished 7 chapters. We are still not sure about the title because the title should indicate what the book is about. Not that easy to do when you consider that  the book will not only follow “Karl” from 1940 to the end of 1944, it will also describe the educational methods. The schools in Berlin had to double up and triple up the number of students per class. Female teachers (some of them wearing lipstick)  (and you have no idea what that meant in 1942 ) were introduced in all boys schools. Shortage of teachers and facilities caused the introduction of a morning shift and an afternoon shift. To even it out the classes rotated every week. The mandatory Junkvolk  demanded two afternoon sessions each week. Some parents embraced it, others not. The list goes on and on and I am trying to […] Read more »