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Trauterose: Growing Up in Postwar Munich

"Trauterose:  Growing Up in Postwar Munich"


My book is a first-person account of the postwar years in Munich, Germany, with the war being an ever-present inescapable shadow leaving its physical and psychological marks on me and on those I met and with whom I interacted.


What was it like to be orphaned at birth in the winter of 1942 in Munich, to spend the next eleven years as a foster child in the family of a former SS-officer?  What was it like, after the death of my foster mother, to live for seven years in a home for children under the aegis of Catholic Sisters?  What was it like to immigrate to the United States at age eighteen without family support or knowledge of English?


In telling my story, I draw portraits of people that have affected my life for good or ill.  I describe the rooms and furniture as silent witnesses to our family's daily struggle.


I book-ended my work with critical thoughts about nationality:  being considered German in the United States versus being American in Germany.  I close with reflections on today's Germany, with the past intruding on the present, and with my inherited trauma and inherited guilt still pursuing me.