The War Within, the Story of Josef
Author: Patricia Walkow
The War Within, the Story of Josef, is a creative nonfiction biography of Josef, a teenage Christian Polish slave laborer, forced to work in Nazi Germany during World War II. The setting is Nazi Germany, French Occupied Germany after the end of World War II, and New York City. The span of years for the story is 1943-1954. Josef was a real person, and experienced all of the events in the story.
At the outset of the story, Josef awakens after his left leg was amputated due to an accident in the factory where he worked in Southern Germany. A talented mechanic, even at his young age, Josef has a natural ability to understand, repair and fabricate machinery. Because of his usefulness, his life is spared, although slave laborers are normally considered expendable, and when injured, are summarily executed. German citizens are prohibited from helping slave laborers. Yet, Willie, a German ambulance driver only a few years older than Josef, saves Josef’s life by taking him to the hospital and allowing him to recuperate in his own home. Willie lives with his mother, Sonya, a loyal German.
Through the course of his recuperation, Josef fights his hatred of the Germans; Sonya roils with emotion as she comes to see the injured boy as a human being, rather than an enemy, and Willie questions his own motivations for helping the young Pole. Ella, a young German girl who is a cook and maid in a nearby house, befriends Josef. She struggles with her own mother’s decision to remove her from school, forcing her to work as a servant. Josef and Ella fall in love and keep their love a secret through the war. When the war ends, they remain in French-occupied Germany, marry, and start a family. As a mixed Polish-German couple they face the ire of the Germans, and, when their eldest son develops tuberculosis, they fear losing him. Through the years, Josef and Willie deepen their friendship, and Ella and Josef decide to emigrate to the US.
This story offers a window into the ways some Germans broke the rules to help their declared enemies. It offers the reader a view into the lives of ordinary people through the last two years of the World War II, Allied occupation, near-starvation, and the agonizing decision to leave Europe and settle in a new land.
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Patricia Walkow is an author whose work has appeared in three award-winning anthologies: Corrales Writing Group 2013 Anthology, Corrales Writing Group 2014 Anthology, and Currents, Corrales Writing Group 2015 Anthology. A new set of her short stories is scheduled for publication in a 2017 anthology, titled Passages. She was a columnist for The Glendale [California] News Press, and Bethlehem [Pennsylvania] Globe Times. She has published articles in Albuquerque, the Magazine, the Corrales Comment and Corrales MainStreet News. She was editor-in-chief of Corrales [New Mexico] MainStreet News for three years.
Ms. Walkow also co-authored Where People and Projects Meet, a project-management book offering tools and techniques for managing the people side of projects, published in 2010. Her newest work, a 110,000 word biographical novel, The War Within, the Story of Josef, was published on June 27th, 2016. It is the story of a teenager who grows to manhood in World War II Germany, where he was a slave laborer.
She was awarded third place for her short story, The Far Moist End of the Earth, in the 2016 William Faulkner Literary Competition. Several of her other short stories have won awards from the New Mexico Press Women organization.
A well-respected columnist, Terri is the writer and creator of the weekly Stars and Stripes column Spouse Calls, which first appeared in 2007. Now published in print editions worldwide and online, Spouse Calls serves as a voice for military spouses and families, through personal stories, incisive interviews, news analysis, and interaction with readers.
Terri has been a member of the Washington, DC, press corps and has contributed to several other books about military life. Her work has appeared in Air Force/Army/Navy Times, The Huffington Post, and Books Make a Difference, as well as newspapers, magazines, and base publications in many of her adopted hometowns around the world.
Terri’s expertise in military life comes from long experience. Her father was a Vietnam veteran and career military man. She married her Air Force husband, Mark, in 1985. They have three children, Will, Jessie, and Wesley, born in military hospitals in Texas, Guam, and Arizona, respectively.
Terri is a cum laude graduate of Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where she studied journalism. After living in eleven states, two foreign countries, and one U.S. territory, Terri is currently based in O Fallon, Illinois, which she estimates is her seventeenth new hometown as part of a military family.
About Spouse Calls: Messages From a Military Life, she says, “This book is the story of the people we know and the life we live in the neighborhood of our American military life.”
Friday the thirteenth,
lucky or not, I wonder,
climbing aboard my Pegasus,
thinking if others are aware
We’ve spent our year,
some a few months longer.
a year shaking shaping my world,
Tet — no need to say more;
A year when “slain civil rights leader”
enters the permanent vocabulary;
A year when a devil in the City of Angels
murders another heroic brother;
now remembered names emblazon
streets and schools and stadiums
they will never see.
A year when a tormented president whose
massive right hand once grasped mine
tells his divided nation,
“I shall not seek and I will not accept
The nomination…for another term….”
I return to nowhere, to nowhere, to no one,
better than somewhere, someone?
I belong only to me.
Friday the thirteenth,
keep the runway clear of craters,
free from random rockets’ havoc,
quietly, slowly push back,
navigate the labyrinth of concrete aisles,
wheeling to start position.
engines at max thrust, rpms climbing,
brakes released, we hurtle ahead,
five seconds, ten seconds, fifteen seconds.
“Hail Mary, full of grace….”
angling toward the blue blackness,
aloft in dank air of late summer.
In a minute, an unseen voice,
“Ladies and gentlemen,
We have left airspace
Of South Vietnam.”
A tsunami of cheers washes
Home, my man, back to the world.”
Guam, Hawaii, finally California.
“The land of round eyes.”
Friday the thirteenth — lucky day.
“Baruch ator Adonai, eloheinu, meluch ha’lom, hatou
Blessed are you Ha Shem, our God, King of the Iniverse,
The Good and Doer of Good”
If using musical terms, Moments of Time by Mark Fleisher ranges through several octaves and timbres, and up and down the scale to define his inspirations and poetic voice. His observations range from uncomplicated subjects to romantic love to thoughts both personal and universal about war and conflict. Along the continuum are poems reflecting his sense of humor, often frivolous and whimsical. Moments of Time contacts the senses and stokes the emotions, but also entertains, encourages laughter, and revives nostalgic memories. Writing in an approachable and accessible manner, Fleisher remembers his youth in the 1950s and 1960s of New York City, the horrific inhumanity of Vietnam and a major personal loss to finally find new life in an unfamiliar place across the continent.
If someone should like a signed copy of either book, they can reach Mark at 505-345-0962 and/or email@example.com.
Intersections: Poems from the Crossroads brings together the people, places, events and even occasional dream that informed Mark Fleisher’s second publication of poetry. Fleisher is at heart a narrative poet, leaning on his journalistic background to impart clear and powerful messages as he hammers home the futility, frustration, and hopelessness of war, especially the conflict in Vietnam where he served as an Air Force combat news reporter. Readers will also enjoy the lyrical, image-filled style in the tender and sometimes wistful poems dealing with family and relationships. And although the poems in Intersections deal mostly with serious subjects, Fleisher keeps us off guard by successfully intertwining a handful of humorous works in a pleasing wry and whimsical style.
by Caroline LeBlanc, MAMF Special Projects Writer
Our June 25 Mindfulness Meditation & Writing retreat was a great success. Eleven participants, 8 veterans, 3 of whom are also family members, and 4 family members spent the day meditating and writing in this comfortable space at First Unitarian Church, Albuquerque. Thanks to the church for the space. And thanks to Natural Grocers, Smith’s Grocers, and the Women Veterans of New Mexico for donations toward our delicious lunch buffet. Next day retreat is scheduled for August 27. Watch for more information closer to the date.
“SHOUT: Sharing Our Truth: An Anthology of Writings by LGBT Veterans and Family Members of the U.S. Military Services”Posted: April 9, 2016 | |
MAMF Special Projects Writer Caroline LeBlanc is seeking stories for:
“SHOUT: Sharing Our Truth: An Anthology of Writings by LGBT Veterans and Family Members of the U.S. Military Services”
This anthology seeks first-hand experiences—good, bad, and in between—as an LGBT veteran or family member, during and/or after military service. Our goal is to create a book that will allow you to tell parts of your story that will also be helpful for others to read—others who live or want to understand the LGBT veteran experience. The last chapter of the book will list resources available to LGBT veterans.
Do not submit any materials previously published in print or online. Identifying information should be included in the body of the email only.
What Genres to Submit:
Fiction: up to 1200 words.
Non-Fiction (memoir, essays, and other non-fiction): up to 1200 words
Poetry: up to 40 lines.
Reviews: up to 1200 words about a movie, book, music, etc. that you think are important for others to know about.
Resources: submit information on resources you have found particularly helpful. (Name, webpage, telephone number, and services)
You may submit up to 2 pieces in each genre. Each piece must be attached in a separate file. All pieces in a given category must be submitted in the same email. Pieces in separate categories must be submitted in separate emails.
Submissions are accepted between March 20 and June 20, 2016. For more information or for guidelines on how to submit, please visit: