v. S. Lawson was born in Gleiwitz, Upper Silesia,
during World War I. Most of her childhood was spent in
Münster, Westphalia. After graduating from high school
in 1935, the last two years under Nazi regulations and the
Hitler salute, her family moved to Berlin.
In Berlin she
lived through the turbulence of World War II and its
terrible aftermath with her husband and small child. During
the postwar years her family survived the starvation through
dangerous food-hunting trips out to the country.
She lived in
the American sector of Berlin. When the infamous Berlin
Wall went up, she immigrated with her family to the United
States in 1962.
earned a master's degree in German
from Georgetown University in Washington, DC. For many
years she taught German at the university level in the
Washington, DC area, to military personnel, and to senior
She was a speaker at the Smithsonian Institution and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, and was interviewed by an international documentary cable network.
Laughter Wasn't Rationed took more than ten years
to write, and has enjoyed a tremendous word of mouth referral
It has been used for world history courses at the college level.
A long-time resident of the Washington, DC area (Northern VA), she moved to Medford, Oregon, in 2003 to be near her two daughters. It is there that she passed away in February 2014, one month shy of her 98th birthday.