books on a shelf. Text in foreground reads: "Books, Writing, History and Me"

Books, Writing, History, and Me

In “Books, Writing, History, and Me” I share my thoughts on travel, cooking, van-life, books, the process of writing, the experiences of an indie-publisher, WWII, the Holocaust, and anything else I feel might be of interest to readers of my books. Please send me comments and let me know what you like and what you want to know more about. Everything in this blog reflects my personal ideas and feelings–a memoir of sorts, it is my perspective and any errors or omissions are mine.

  • Two Books about good Germans

    One of the things I want to do with this blog is occasionally take a break from the narrative of the process of writing my novel and share with you some of the books that have inspired or informed me, adding new substance to my library of Holocaust and World War II literature. I never…

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  • The General

    “Call me GG,” he said. “That’s what my friends call me.” GG, a retired army general and a Ritchie Boy, was the executive director of the local United Way in Sierra Vista, Arizona and he had arranged for us to meet in their comfortable conference room. While my daughter, Erin, was setting up her camera…

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  • The Vagaries of Memory – Finding the Truth when Oral Histories Vary

    I have a dear friend who always quotes his grandmother as saying, “There are three ways to tell every story—your way, my way, and the truth.” I suppose if three or four people tell the story, there are that many more versions. Putting them all together in a true way is the job of a…

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  • Joy at the National Archives – Research and Primary Documents

    As I worked on my manuscript, I continued to immerse myself in movies, novels, and all kinds of nonfiction about WWII—from books to online articles, from the German documentary titled The Ritchie Boys to Lucky Forward by Robert Allen—but I still felt inadequate to write the chapters about Herman’s time at Camp Ritchie and his wartime activities in Europe.…

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  • Finding The Ritchie Boys

    Somewhere in the middle of a day of taping Herman’s memories in 1991, he mentioned his special training. “They sent me to the Army Intelligence Center,” he told me. “That was in Camp Ritchie, Maryland. And I took the course and graduated from the Army Intelligence Corps. We were trained in interrogation, espionage, and counter-espionage.”…

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  • Getting the Story – Oral History from Herman Lang

           Separated by the breadth of America, he in New York and I in California, my uncle Herman and I didn’t meet until 1969.        I had been teaching art to middle school students for a year, and I needed a break. I packed my Volkswagen van with camping gear and…

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  • Family Secrets

    I was born during World War II and raised in southern California where I spent my childhood reading, drawing, whiling away days at the beach, and being nurtured by my Grandma Clara. I knew nothing of my father’s family story other than his childhood in Germany and sudden emigration to the United States. Then, the…

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  • Discovery

    I loved Venice — brightly colored air, sparkling water, and spires gleaming in the sun. My sixteen year old romantic heart dreamt of the day I would return and kiss a boyfriend in the shadow of Saint Mark’s Basilica. Even the presence of my mother with her rules and my little sister with her tears…

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