Stabs In the Back and Big Lies

By the end of September 1918, the Germans were beaten.  Earlier that year Chief-of-Staff Erich Ludendorff commanded the “Kaiserschlacht”  offensive that briefly seemed to turn the tide, but the Germans lacked the resources to support the effort. Ludendorff himself told the Kaiser and Germany’s Chancellor to ask for a ceasefire on September 29th. But the myth […]

Liedolsheim Evangelical Church

For just about my entire life there’s been a picture of the church in Liedolsheim somewhere in the background. At our house, my grandparent’s, and both my aunt’s and uncle’s houses, and now mine: the picture above is in our living room, along with another I’m saving for a future post. As children we were […]

Hate, Bigotry, and Writing About It

As of right now my book opens with a young boy harassing another because he is Jewish. I’m writing about a time in Germany where Antisemitism was not yet the law of the land, but was still widespread. The story is set in a place where it is historically documented to be very deeply felt, […]

Research on Liedolsheim

My grandfather’s story starts in his home town, Liedolsheim, moves to France for World War I, and then returns to Liedolsheim until he is forced to leave before members of the NSDAP (Nazis) try to kill him. Again. So of course, writing about this involves a lot of research about Liedolsheim. Liedolsheim has always been present: […]

On Not Being Funny Anymore

In case you’ve been under a rock for the past 36 hours or so, Donald Trump has won his second primary. This blog is not about politics. It’s supposed to be about my writing. But current events have taken an eerie, and actually quite frightening, parallel trajectory to my most important writing project. When I […]

On Use of the Word “Nazi”

Writing my grandfather’s story is going to mean writing about the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany in the 1920’s. The word “Nazi” is loaded — for good reason. It’s what call the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP.) The Nazis are responsible for the murder of over 6 million Jews, a war that […]

The Capture of Montauban

If you look back at the picture of grandfather in my post in December you can see the “109” on his helmet. He was the in the 109th Reserve Regiment, part of the 28th Reserve Infantry Division. (You can a listing of military units at the Somme here.) Unlike the United States, which entered the war […]

The Battle of the Somme – Starting My Research

I wrote a few weeks back about my grandfather and his experience in World War I on the Somme. There’s more to my grandfather’s story: quite a bit more. I’ve been engaged in quite a bit of research and plan on writing a book. I’ll be posting bits and pieces here as I go along. This […]

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