german memoir
A Personal Journey Through Germany's World Wars and Postwar Years
by Dorothea von Schwanenflügel Lawson


"Books, movies, and television have taught us a lot about the leaders of Germany under Hitler…but little is available on what life was like for German civilians during that time. Lawson's memoir seeks to correct that, providing a compelling look at wartime Germany from someone living inside it."

"One of the things that comes through is how Dorothea and the people around her resorted to humor as a means of coping with the deprivation, the fear, the devastation, and the horrors of war, as well as the immense difficulties of reconstruction and recovery…Highly recommended reading."
- Midwest Book Review

"…an extremely readable book…should be in any collection where there is an interest in modern German social history. There are few works in which the life of a non-political, twentieth-century German family is so ably discussed."
- Phillip Powell, Reference Librarian, College of Charleston

"My life has been enriched by the book. Dorothea…speaks for all of us who lived through this period of history."
- Dr. Marianne Bouvier, Executive Director,
Institute for German American Relations

"Lawson's life is almost the history of the 20th century…a must read for anyone like me - a World War II history buff."
- Don Snider, The Star Newspapers

"Dorothea's story is poignant and relevant for most history courses, women's study areas and multi-cultural venues…her recall is razor sharp. [She] is delightful in her use of anecdotal humor."
- Dr. Albert E. Jabs, Adjunct Professor, Allen University

"Novel, history book, family record, documentation account - Laughter Wasn't Rationed is all of these and more."
- Cleveland Daily Banner

"A vivid memoir… it contrasts the evils with an account of people trying to cope, remembering the humor that sustained them. Though they were our enemies at the time, we forget they had lives, too."
- Alan Caruba,

"This poignant recollection reads like a novel. What happened to middle and upper-class Germans may come as a surprise to many."
- The Mount Vernon Gazette

"The book could have been dry as dust, instead it reads like a fascinating story. Were I teaching today, I would put it on the list of supplementary reading and were I teaching history, I would make it mandatory reading."
- M. Casey, retired high school teacher

"The book is interesting from the first to the last page. [It] is a remarkable description of human character and fighting spirit and shows that a strong positive attitude mixed with laughter enables you to survive the most difficult times."
- W. Nelson, Tierra Verde, Florida

"A totally different outlook on the whole world war era…so real and not written like a professor. It has been a long time that a book has fascinated me as much as this one did."
- H. Woehler, Oxford, Alabama
"[She] captured, better than anything I have read, the tenor of people's lives under the Nazi occupation and afterwards, how they felt and how they lived."
- S. Lipman, Forest Hills, New York

"… the book's unique view of German people's lives…is not one to which most Americans have been privy."
- C. Grubb, Charlestown, West Virginia

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