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“Dancing On One Foot” confronts a major issue—World War II observed during the author’s childhood in Nazi Germany. It explores the psychological imprint of that experience and the healing in later years after the author settles in the High Desert of the American Southwest. The book is also a tribute to the ability of women and children to survive hardships and celebrate life in all its straight and crooked ways—to dance, even if there’s only one foot left to stand on. Here is the account of a woman’s lifelong journey to understand what she came to face about war and her native country’s part in a great crime. She is driven by a deep urge to lift the veil around the dark mystery of human violence. Yet, an undercurrent of vibrant joy runs inside her and through this book. It infuses all the layers of her memory, as if her wounding and the darkness of her story have fertilized her love of life. SHANTI ELKE BANNWART was born in Hamburg, Germany at the onset of World War II. She moved to the United States in 1983 and studied at Lesley University, Cambridge, for her master’s degree in Expressive Therapies. She also received a MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College and is now a Life-Coach and psychotherapist in private practice in Santa Fe, New Mexico and a clay artist educated at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her essays have been published in national and international magazines and she has been awarded various winning prizes in literary competitions.
This vividly detailed memoir describes the experiences of a Holocaust survivor who narrowly escaped death by living a childhood of constant vigil and, along with his family, continuously dodging the ever-present threat of a Nazi capture. After the Nazi invasion of Poland, the Bergman family’s hometown became an increasingly dangerous city in which to live, as evidenced by the author’s account of being struck deaf by the butt of a German soldier’s rifle while playing in the street with other children. Though traumatic and certainly life-threatening, this vicious attack would ultimately save his life several times. The story continues with vivid accounts of the family’s narrow escapes to (and from) the Lodz, Warsaw, and Czestochowa ghettos, describing some of the more horrific vignettes of life in the Jewish ghetto and detailing how some members of the family survived through a fortuitous combination of luck, skilled deception, and an underlying will to live.
An engaging autobiographical sketch by an eminent historian from "the greatest generation." In this delightful book, historian Charles P. Roland chronicles his life from boyhood in 1920s rural Tennessee to retirement after a distinguished fifty-year academic career.
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