german memoir
A Personal Journey Through Germany's World Wars and Postwar Years
by Dorothea von Schwanenflügel Lawson

"I wish it were required reading for all high school students. Such a wonderful inclusion were the photos."
            ~ C. M. Moss, Medford, Oregon


Preface to the Second Edition

german historical authorThis book has been a long time in the making
~ more than ten years. Actually I never gave much thought to writing my memoirs until my American friends strongly urged me to do so. They were amazed at my insider's account of the World Wars and the difficult times that followed.

You will read here about my eventful life and that of my family and friends. At times it was hard to relive the past with some of its ever so vivid occurrences. My story is real. Of course it is strongly intertwined with politics because there is no way to separate one from the other.

While I have happy childhood memories, I grew up in Germany during the 1920's when the country was still reeling from the aftermath of World War I. Then came the twelve years of the dictator-type rule under Hitler, the end of free speech and World War II. Life was never the same again, yet nothing could kill our positive attitude and healthy sense of humor.

Many who have already read Laughter Wasn't Rationed told me that I introduced them to a totally different side of Germany's turbulent years. You will see how the average citizen coped on a day-to-day basis, a different picture than that promulgated by the press.

At the request of readers, I have added a few more photos in this second edition. Unfortunately many things were lost or damaged during the war years, including family pictures, so my choice was limited.

An ever guiding force has been helping me throughout my entire life and nature has blessed me with a strong will and constitution. We have entered the new millennium and my generation is coming to an end. However, I am fortunate to be here still, and it is a pleasure to share my first-hand account with you.


Dorothea von Schwanenflügel Lawson
November 2000

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