Month: August 2016

Escaping Hitler reaches the Reichstag!

I was delighted and proud to hear that last week the Mayor of Nickenich, my good friend Gottfried Busch, had presented a signed copy of Escaping Hitler to the Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Andrea Nahles, when she was on a visit to the region.  It is wunderbar to think that my book might well cross the threshold of the historic Reichstag in Berlin.  I do hope she enjoys reading about little Günter Stern,  his escape on the Kindertransport from Nazi Germany and his long and illustrious future.

Speaking at Norwich Cathedral

Yesterday was a undoubtedly highlight of my public speaking programme promoting EscapingHitler. Not only did I get to talk to fifty confident and stylish businesswomen, but I was actually in the wonderful Hostry at Norwich Cathedral, one of my very favourite places.  The equipment was state of the art and as anyone who knows me will agree, “give me a microphone and I’m away” or words to that effect!  Unusually this time my talk did not focus essentially on the remarkable life of Joe Stirling and his experiences in Nazi Germany.  Instead, my presentation was tailored to my audience @norwichbizwomen. I spoke about the process of becoming a published writer, with hopefully amusing anecdotes from my very steep learning curve as a post-graduate student at the University of East Anglia and with Pen and Sword Books; over four and a half years. My thanks especially to Carole Slaughter and to Lauren, the photographer, from @JarroldsNorwich.  This morning I was delighted and gratified to find that two of the ladies in the audience had tweeted about my talk, one with photographs!  Again thanks go to Carla Morphett @CMMFamilyLaw and to @Swinton_Legal for being so complimentary.  Here are some of the photographs – check out my new short haircut!



Delighted, proud and pleased to be parceling up 15 signed copies of Escaping Hitler, to be sent tomorrow by carrier to the Ortsgemeinde (Town Hall) in Joe’s birth village of Nickenich in the German Rhineland.  The Mayor, Herr Gottfried Busch has ordered the books as gifts for his special Civic guests.  I am delighted to be able to fulfil this order and to know that yet more people can now learn about the life of that little boy who left their village with his anguished mother the morning after Kristallnacht after watching his father being arrested by the Gestapo.  The family would never be seen in the village again.

We were fortunate to take the book to Koblenz and Nickenich in May this year, giving an illustrated presentation to an audience of over 80 people in Nickenich, and signing no less than 40 books, many to people whose parents and grandparents had known the Stern family during the 1920s and 1930s when they were an integral part of the community.  These photos show me with Burgermeister Herr Busch at the signing and views of the village illustrating the importance of farming in the past.  The houses do not have back gardens, they have rear yards with former barns and shelters for animals.  It was like stepping back in time. Thank you Nickenich.