An Immigrant in the 1960s. Finding Hope and Success in New York City

This new book will remind you of the City before the new corona virus began its US assault.  It is a growing up story in a world we seem to have lost but which surely will be recaptured when the crisis recedes. 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 quickly. 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 colleagues, girlfriends, and supportive environments.  True also, salaries were such that one could afford to live and thrive in the City.  Today no clerk in the same job and a slightly higher numerical salary can afford the astronomical food and rental prices of the City.  

Perpektiven Presse. $14.95

Hope and Fears: Past and Present

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 ... 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 of English, Appalachian State University.

"Being in the Past and the Present 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 that 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.

Aspiring Woman Artist in Weimar

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.

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:


Three Mothers, Plus One

Peter W. Petschauer


We all have one mother,

I had four.

All lived far away,

in Europe.

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.

The Depression.

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 --

gone forever.

When will it end, dear Lord?

When will it end?

It did.

Sadly, one died too soon.

Three lived longer than most.

In peace.

Having learned to cope all too well.

Petschauer My Four Mothers
Mutter Egarter Family
Mother's Family

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.

Father and the SS

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. 

(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. He stands in the center.) 

In German;

no copies left.


Personal Rights in Human Space
Human Space. Personal Rights in a Threatening World
(Westport, CN and London: Praeger, 1997)
This book began in the international airport lounge of Charlotte, NC; a young woman threw herself and her tennis racket into the quiet space the rest of us had occupied for some time.  That intrusion led to the exploration of the interplay between our own, other persons' and beings' understanding of the space we and they are, occupy and use.  In the end, the book hoped 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 girls' and women's access to and experience with public and private schools.  Martin Luther in 1517 recommended that all girls be included in public schools which led to widespread public education of girls and women two centuries later.  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 those 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.

German Women Education