Journey Between Two Worlds follows your mom’s life from growing up under Hitler in Germany to moving to America. Why did she feel her story was important to share?
My mother wanted us, her children, to know the circumstances of her upbringing and life in Germany, and to have an understanding of our heritage in its personal, historical, and cultural context. On a broader scale, she wanted to communicate a lived knowledge of the tyranny of authoritarianism versus the value of freedom she discovered in a democracy; those of us born into such freedom can easily take it for granted and be unaware of its fragility.
When editing your mom’s memoir, what was something you learned that you had not previously known?
At the tail end of a long editing process, which felt akin to piecing together a puzzle, I was surprised how much of my father’s diary entries were included. It felt so right having his presence and voice so prominent. It was also a revelation how instantly he took a shine to my mother. I never thought of my father in that way.
What is your favorite memory of your mom from reading her memoir?
My favorite memory is her memory of Christmas 1946. It is the title and subject of Chapter 2 and at the heart of her story, falling in love with my father. It touches me deeply and brings a tear to my eye every time I read it.
What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your mom’s story?
With all the hardships and difficulties she endured throughout her life she remained a beacon of positivity and possibility, with courage and humor ever at the ready.
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