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    Between 2007 and 2009, I lived in Los Angeles after living in Paris for many years. My Paris blog (before and after my Los Angeles sojourn) is Rue Rude.

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    « Writer Dennis Cooper: "Paris is not hot anymore." | Main | Homework: Play a video game »

    02 May 2007


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    My husband Rob is of German descent. His Oma escaped from Communist East Germany after the Second World War. Do you know of any books about the Trummerfrauen written in English?

    Hi Linda,
    I'm afraid I've never seen one. Because of (understandable) anti-German resentment postwar, most non-Germans aren't really aware how much the Germans, especially the Prussians, themselves suffered during and after the war.

    This was a really lovely piece. I moved to Berlin from Ireland a year ago and every week I go to visit a 93 year-old lady in a nursing home. It has been a humbling and utterly experience to listen to her stories.

    Thanks a lot Mr Cooper for this piece of your life. I have been interested in women's rol in German post-war reconstruction (Die Truemmenrfrauen) and you told us an idea about that.
    I hope I had find Frau Helen.

    Diego Sarasti

    I'm not Mr Cooper, and I never found Helene Lohe (who said she would retire to Bad Aussee in Bavaria), but thank you.

    I was born in 1942 in Bavaria. As a teenager, my mother would tell me how she was a "Truemmer-Frau", along with my Aunt.

    I am 71 today, and want to write my Mother's story. With 8 Grandchildren I want to pass on the story of "Kinder of WWII" and the small way I can honor my mother's memory.

    I think that's a wonderful idea. Most Americans have no idea how much ordinary Germans, too, suffered in the war and long afterwards.

    Have you read The Book Thief? It's about a little girl in Munich during the war.

    Telling us the story was very important, but I must say Helene Lohe must have been a very superficial person.

    Hmm.....how did I know before I even began reading this account that it would turn into an anti-National Socialist essay? Those nasty Nazis. So what's the point of bringing up the woman's feelings about the Third Reich government? What does that have to do with anything and why is it necessary? If she had been a loyal German, loving her leader and her people and her government....would her story still be told? Would she just have been ignored and considered "bad"? It would be nice if these stories could be told without them turning into political attacks against Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich days. And by the way...I know plenty of old German people who feel the opposite about the subject as this elderly German lady. It's time that the German people quit being encouraged to attack and destroy each other over the WWII issue. Each side has value and worth and shold be heard.

    Wow. Just... wow.

    Is this you too?

    Today BBC run a show (mostly) on Die Truemmenrfrauen as part of their series “Germany: Memories of a Nation” http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04k6tv0

    Thank you! I missed it but will try to see it online.

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    Today's quotation

    • In Paris, the purest virtue is the object of the filthiest slander.

        –Honoré Balzac (1799-1850), in Scènes de la vie privée

      À Paris, la vertu la plus pure est l'objet des plus sales calomnies.

    Le petit aperçu d'Ailleurs

    • Annual Geminids meteor shower (shooting stars!) coming this weekend, if it's not too cloudy out at night.