Peter W. Petschauer
Was man so alles lernt; Südtiroler Rückhalt für die moderne Welt (All the Things one Learns)
This book is about my childhhod. Like the book I wrote about my father in the 1980s, it is published by the same house, Weger Buchhandlung in Brixen/Bressanone, Italy. One of the unique aspects of my childhood was where it happened due to the circumstances of WWII. My parents deposited my brother and me in an isolated Alpine village of Afers/Eores for our safety. The war brought the modern world to this medieval community during my lifetime. Upon reflection, I realize that the values I hold tightly were gained in the context of the family that took us in. The four daughters who guided my coming of age were essential to the man I became.
Listen to Rarely Heard Voices
About the time this book was published, a student asked me: "Is writing poetry different than writing other text?" "Poetry," I replied, "is very personal and in my case often spontaneous. Yet it also requires succincly expressing a view or a thought."
When I walk along and spot a beautiful view or flower, I may compose a poem right then and write it down at home later at my computer. If I write a historical poem, I will have already read great deal about the topic I would like to explore.
I hope to have learned from the Japanese poet Basho and my friend Howard Stein. Basho inspires short, succinct poems that make the point in a few lines. Stein demands longer expositions that require several readings to enter all nuances.
An Immigrant in the 1960s. Finding Hope and Success in New York City
This book may remind you of the City before the corona virus' reached the US. It is a growing-up story in a world we seemed to have lost, but which is being recaptured as the crisis recedes to managable proportons. I was an immigrant at age 17 from Germany without the inhibitions that might have restrained an older person. Unlike so many immigrants, I enjoyed several advantages: as a white European, I was invisible in a society often hostile to newcomers, I brought a respectable educational background, and I learned quickly how to network. Most importantly, I landed jobs that adjusted me to corporate America and allowed me to absorb English readily. Obtaining a PhD in history and economics was due in large part to the openness and ready support of those around me, including initially my family, and within months professors at NYU, colleagues, girlfriends, and supportive environments. True also, salaries were such that one could afford to live and thrive in the City.
Perpektiven Presse. $14.95
In the Face of Evil.
The Sustenance of Traditions
(Perspektiven Presse, 2014)
This book is about the women whom I call my four mothers. These were the women who influenced me early on in my life. They stand here for all the women who were able to live their lives as best as they could and resist the ideologies of the Fascists and Nazis, and survive two world wars. Even before I began to write the book, I composed this poem:
Hopes and Fears:
Past and Present
Pleease read what Dr. Zohara Boyd had to say about this book; I am very grateful for her support.
"Peter Petschauer is a poet of remarkable talent and range. His topics range from the horrors of the Holocaust to the tender delights of being a grandfather. The poems made me cry, made me laugh, and made me marvel at how skillfully he handles the joy and sorrow of his own life and the lives of his World War II contemporaries.... There is no sentimentality, no preaching, just the power of the best words possible chosen to paint vivid pictures of the human condition at its most raw and most beautiful."
Zohara M. Boyd, Ph.D., Professor Emerita of English, Appalachian State University.
A Perfect Portrait
A Novel set in Eighteenth-Century Weimar, Germany.
With this novel, Petchauer returns to an earlier love, that of the 18th-century German states. People fought wars then too, but his novel, A Perfect Portrait, is not about war, but a young woman exploring her artistic talent. For the most part, she did so in Weimar.
She lost her mother early on and grew up the daughter of a carpenter/developer who supported her aspiration. Like so many other of the women artists of her time, the marriage to a tavern keeper made things more difficult ... if it had not been for a nobleman who discovered and supported her.
No, this is not the usual tale about nobleman meets commoner and after a twisted path, they lived happily ever after. Or, after the twisted path, he decides to distance himself from the exploited woman.
Kindle at $6.99 or $7.12, if one uses a European server.
Der Vater und die SS.
Erich Petschauer und das NS-Regime
(Brixen/Bressanone: Weger, 2007)
This book is about my struggle to understand, without excusing, my father, a first lieutenant in the SS from 1940-1945.
(More than a decade later, in 2018, a photograph of the time emerged and the quest to understand the man and the time started all over again.
In the 1941 photograph, my father stands in the center, most likely not listening.)
(Out of Print)
The Education of Women in early-modern Germany
This 1989 Edwin Mellen Press volume began with Catherine II, the Great of Russia. She grew up as a princess of a respected famiy, and I began to wonder, after I had completed my dissertation about this astute woman, about the upbinging and education of most of the other women of the early modern period in Germany.
I explored every possible source to be able to describe girls' and women's access to and experience with public and private schools. Martin Luther in 1517 had recommended that all girls be included in public schools; this mandate in turn led to widespread public education of girls and women. In addition to public schools in almost every village and town, private schools flourished especially in the 18th-century German states. The usual conception in educational literature that public schools did not start up in these lands and Austria until that century is here finally put to rest; as is the perception that Rousseau had a major influence on the beginning of German elementary education; he did not.