Hopes and Fears:
Past and Present
"In his book of poetry, Peter Petschauer is an astute observer and chronicler of the human condition – from his family during and after Nazi Germany, to the frightening parallels between Hitler’s Germany and Trump’s America, to portraits of individual people (such as himself in a wheelchair at an airport, imagining how others see him in comparison with how he sees himself as a non-veteran), and of the streets of Manhattan. His use of free verse and narrative poetry take the reader behind Petschauer’s eyes and ears and into his keen mind and compassionate heart. Readers of Petschauer’s poetry will know the world – and themselves – differently from before they read his book."
Howard F. Stein, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK.
"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, Appalachian State University.
"Being in the Past and the Present: Hopes and Fears is an extraordinary poetic collage covering the hopes and horrors of the eras of Hitler, Stalin, and Trump. It is also a poetical psychobiography of a an empathetic and special human being whose life spans two centuries, friendships cover two continents, and erudition borders on being limitless."
Paul H. Elovitz, PhD, Historian, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist, Professor, Director of the Psychohistory Forum, and Editor, Clio's Psyche.
A Perfect Portrait
A Novel set in Eighteenth-Century Weimar, Germany.
With this novel, Petchauer returns to an ealier love, that of the 18th-century Germanies. 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 grew into a household that supported her, but her 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.
Kindle at $6.99 or $7.12, if one uses a European server.
In the Face of Evil.
The Sustenance of Traditions (Perspektiven Presse, 2014)
This book is about the women whom Petschauer calls his four mothers. These were the women who influenced him early on in his life and stand here for all the women who were able to live their lives and resist the ideologies of the Fascists and Nazis, and survive two world wars. Even before he began to write the book, he composed this poem:
Three Mothers, Plus One
Peter W. Petschauer
We all have one mother,
I had four.
All lived far away,
Two on farms, two in cities.
Each in her own way,
caring and courageous,
beautiful and strong.
The farm women,
steady in their routine.
The city women,
resilient in their ingenuity.
As one misery stepped into the next --
that’s how they survived.
World War One.
Mussolini and Hitler.
World War Two.
Fields churned, streets collapsed.
Villages and cities mourning their dead.
In graveyards, images of fallen soldiers
peered from columns and crosses.
And if that were not enough.
In our family,
mother, son, brother, sister --
When will it end, dear Lord?
When will it end?
Sadly, one died too soon.
Three lived longer than most.
Having learned to cope all too well.
Five poems in a collection entitled:
Wounded Centuries: A Selection of Poems
When Petschauer published In the Face of Evil and explored the lives of four women whom he calls mothers, he thought he had finished with the violent first half of the 20th century. For all sorts of reasons, many of us never are able to finish with that unusually difficult time. In response, he has written articles and poems exploring the impact of the NS regime on him as the son of an SS man, on art, popular culture, and other aspects of life. Some of these poems may be found in the late 2015 Wounded Centuries: A Selection of Poems.
(Circumstantial Productions, NJ and
Grolier Poetry Book Store, 2015).
Available now at the store on Harvard Square at $16.00.
Der Vater und die SS.
Erich Petschauer und das NS-Regime
(Brixen/Bressanone: Weger, 2007)
This book is about Petschauer's struggle to understand, without excusing, his father, a first lieutenant in the SS from 1940-1945.
In German; no copies left.
Human Space. Personal Rights in a Threatening World
(Westport, CN and London: Praeger, 1997)
This book grew out of a desire to understand the interplay between our own, other persons, and beings understanding of the space they are and those surrounds them. The book hopes to answer the question: How do insights about our own spatiality and that of others affect human rights.
The Education of Women in early-modern Germany
In this 1989 Edwin Mellen Press volume Petschauer describes the access of girls and women to and experiences with public and private schools from Martin Luther's 1517 recommendation that all girls be included in public schools to widespread public education two centuries later. In addition to public schools in almost every village and town, private schools flourished especially in the 18th-century Germanies. The usual conception in educational literature that public schools did not start up in those lands until that century is here finally put to rest.