life stories

remembered... recounted... recorded!

Browse through life stories from the biography Publishers´s programme – only through those, of course, who were approved for publishing. A lot of biographies were designed and printed for family and friends only and are therefore not on display.

All books (apart from those marked “out of print”) can be ordered in any bookshop, online bookshop or directly at the publishing house via email. Shipping to Germany is free, shipping to the US is 5.00 $.

On display besides many intriguing stories: A lot of experience by now…

Wo gehst du, Mariechen?

At the age of 105 Marie Olschewski is looking back on her life. Born in 1897 it spans across an entire century – the 20th century that has challenged her with two wars, three flights and the loss of her home. All the more moving to see how the farmer’s wife and mother of nine masters everyday life. With her detailed descriptions and gentle tone Marie Olschewski revives a now sunken world – Masuria.

Ruth Damwerth: „Wo gehst du, Mariechen?“ The story of the Masurian farmer’s wife Marie Olschewski and her country. 2., supplemented edition with photographs
ISBN: 3-937772-32-5; paperback 148 pages, 12,90 Euro

“Only during the nights between Christmas and Epiphany, these where the “Holy Nights” during which one was not allowed to sew or knit, that was the tradition. If one took up a needle during these Holy Nights, it was said that animals would be born with their ears sewn together, deaf, the following year.”

The reader has the sensation of sitting right opposite the old lady, clacking her knitting needles to a “back in the day…” Ruth Damwerth has preserved Marie Olschewski’s memories in a worthy way. Softly she describes a sunken world, Masuria – gently revived and captured through the delicate voice of Marie Olschewski. The sound of a voice still very much turned towards life.

Marler Zeitung, 02.07.2004, on “Wo gehst du, Mariechen?“

A newspaper article drew the historian and German studies specialist’s attention to the farmer from Masuria. “Eight times I went to visit Marie Olschewski in Marl last year. It was a pleasure to listen to her story.” From the tape recordings of these cozy chats the Munsterian “knitted” a moving piece of literature.

Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 03.02.2004, on “Wo gehst du, Mariechen?“

Arnold Munter. Ein biografisches Geschichtsbuch

Biographies that make any history book seem pale in comparison exist. Arnold Munter’s life story is one of those. Born in 1912 during the last Imperial Era in Berlin, he virtually witnesses all the developments up close that embody the “German” century. Hereby he is not simply a spectator. Each political system that he is introduced to he either shapes or fights. He experiences each epoch very deliberately. His exceptional memory and vivid story-telling make him a fascinating witness with an exemplary life for twentieth century Germany.

Ruth Damwerth: Arnold Munter. A biographical history book.
978-3-937772-35-6; paperback 268 pages, 18,90 Euro

“The first controlled detonation took place on September 6th and was implemented in the front section. I was keen to be quite close and had arranged with the demolition master, that I would hide behind the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Monument that was still there, observing the blast from the cover of the massive bronze klutz. The People’s Police had largely blocked off the boulevard Unter den Linden, because the operation required massive amounts of dynamite, as the foundations of the City Palace were up to five meters thick. The first detonation shook the ground severely. Once the dust and expelled masses of stone had settled I moved closer to the detonation site. All of a sudden a car arrived and two Soviet officers alarmed by the explosion jumped out, protesting as they approached me: “Why you blow up castle? We also not blow up Kreml after Revolution.”

With her book Damwerth has set Munter a monument. Rightly so – despite not always sharing his opinions and relating to his every step. It is the individual stories like that of Arnold Munter that make history tangible and emotionally accessible.

Der Nordberliner, 11.17.1994, on “Arnold Munter. Jahrhundertzeuge“

Much to her credit the author Ruth Damwerth gently and cautiously handles Munter’s story. At times he freely fills pages with his recount. In between personal anecdotes we find historical facts and background information interwoven. Thus the work moves beyond the subjective view of a protagonist and becomes a reflection on the 20th century.

Pankower Anzeiger, 11.25.1994, on “Arnold Munter. Jahrhunderzeuge“

26-year-old Ruth Damwerth from Münster has succeeded in what only an un-biased and a by developments in both German states unencumbered author could have achieved. With alert interest and empathetic intuition, she has chronicled the life journey of Arnold Munter, given him space to express his story and has through intelligent observation created a historical work that is also fascinating to read.

Neues Deutschland, 02.22.1995, on “Arnold Munter. Jahrhundertzeuge“

Exciting and exemplary highs and lows of a ruptured Germany during the 20th century – Damwerth has understood how to weave an individual’s chronology into a greater historic picture.

Westfälische Nachrichten, 03.07.1995, on “Arnold Munter. Jahrhundertzeuge“

Der Heringsbändiger

Whoever was born in 1927 was particularly close to doom: This was the first age group that grew up under the complete influence of the National Socialist education system implemented as early as school and “Jungvolk” and was also the last year to be called up to military duty and sent to the slaughter at the front as Hitler’s youngest recruits. Martin Schwabe belonged to this group. As a “quarter Jew” he had experienced the darker side of the Nazi regime and volunteered for military service as he was eager “to belong”. At the age of sixteen he was a soldier, at the age of twenty-one he returned home from a Russian prisoner of war camp to what had in the meantime become the GDR and after all the bitter experiences and swearing to himself to never eat with the wolves again, maybe not all is well that ends well…

Ruth Damwerth: Der Heringsbändiger. Martin Schwabe’s Tale of the 20. Century.
ISBN: 3-937772-05-7; paperback 220 pages, 15,90 Euro

“When I was young Mother occasionally worked as a sales promoter for Persil. While she was at work I was in the Lindenstrasse in the care of teacher Motsche’s wife. Mrs Motsche was the first person to dress me in a uniform of sorts, a brown shirt with necktie. I have no recollection of this myself, but I have been told that I looked very cute trying to imitate the marching SA storm troopers as a three- or four-year-old tiny tot…”

His past is ca 1,5 centimeters wide. He is holding it in his hand. It reads “Der Heringsbändiger.” A life – black on white. 215 pages hot off the press. Martin Schwabe has seen a lot during the past 78 years. The Weimar Republic, National Socialism, the Cold War, the Reunification. “My neighbors said I should write it all down”, Martin Schwabe smiles. In Ruth Damwerth he has found an author who has a strong sense of bringing the spoken word to the page. And Schwabe has a lot of words. Many experiences to recount. “It was definitely 40 hours of tape recordings”, the Munsterian author recalls.

Grevener Zeitung, 09.03.2005, on “Der Heringsbändiger“

Das Tagebuch der Caroline Bedall

The diary that Caroline Mehler, born Bedall, began writing in 1846 at the age of ten not only lends us a new insight into the day to day reality of the penultimate century, but also grants us a glance at a multitude of Bavarian towns and landscapes of the time. It is primarily a unique aesthetic pleasure, a synergy between her special gift of observation, delicate language and ornamental handwriting.

Caroline Bedall: The Diary of Caroline Bedall.
ISBN: 3-937772-02-2; 12,90 Euro

“On November 10th my sister-in-law Karoline took flight to Switzerland with children and instructor and on November 23rd upon court order, and to our great shame and anguish, was seized and imprisoned. In the evening of November 29th at 9pm she was by police inspector escorted from Lindau to Munich and at once taken to “Frohnveste,” the prison.”

Mein eiskaltes Leben (Hardcover, 184 S.)

In 1954 Gundi Busch was the first German to be crowned Figure Skating World Champion und subsequently she not only became a national idol, but an internationally celebrated star. In grey post-war Germany the success of “gudomliga Gundi”, deified Gundi as the Swedish press had termed her, grew into fairytale proportions. “Gundi Busch is currently being photographed more than any actress. Who could possibly resist her?”, newspapers were asking. Even today, fifty years later, her name is still a familiar one to most Germans. However, Gundi was not only an ice princess, the darling of the adoring public, a blonde star on blades, she was also an eighteen-year-old girl – and: she hated skates.

Gundi Busch/Ruth Damwerth: Mein eiskaltes Leben.
ISBN: 978-3-937772-13-4; hardcover, 19,90 Euro

“I was four and a half and it was a Sunday afternoon, when my father took me to the ice rink for the first time. I can still envision the pores in the wood of the ledge which was at eye level and that I was fearfully gripping…”

“Smiling was intrinsic”, says the 73-year-old today. However, in her biography “the fairytale image of a happy ice princess” will be “thoroughly dismantled.” Back then no one knew: The ever-smiling teen hated figure skating and she hated the woman who was tormenting her towards success – her mother. In “Mein eiskaltes Leben” Gundi Busch describes the fame she was forced into during the post-war era. Her son Peter Johansson persuaded her to chronicle her long way of suffering. Through the internet she came across Ruth Damwerth who wrote the book. It will also be published in the USA and in Russia.

Kölner Express, 04.19.2009, on “Mein eiskaltes Leben“