by Dieter Vaupel and D.Z. Stone
A Fairy Tale Unmasked chronicles the previously untold story of how in 1983 the German teacher Dieter Vaupel and his high school students uncovered their town’s hidden Nazi history in spite of threats from local residents to leave the past alone.
A Fairy Tale Unmasked is two books in one. Part One by D.Z. Stone is the story of Dieter Vaupel, a German high school teacher who, in 1983, uncovered a hidden past when he and his students began researching what happened in their town during the Nazi regime.
The picturesque town of Hessisch Lichtenau was where thousands of slave laborers, including 1,000 women and girls from Auschwitz, were forced to work in one of the largest munitions factories in all of Europe. Vaupel and his students broke through the wall of silence surrounding this history and stood up to threats to leave the past alone. Then, amid further controversy, Vaupel and a group of townspeople contacted former forced workers and invited them to come back to Hessisch Lichtenau.
In 1986, Blanka Pudler, who as a 15-year-old girl was sent from Auschwitz as a slave laborer, was one of those who returned. Part Two of A Fairy Tale Unmasked is Pudler’s account of her enslavement, a story she would go on to tell to thousands of German schoolchildren. In honor of her efforts, in 2012 she was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Part Two is by Dieter Vaupel, based on his interviews with Blanka Pudler. Dieter Vaupel is a teacher and political scientist who studied at the universities of Gießen and Kassel and holds a doctorate on forced labor and compensation.
"A Fairly Tale Unmasked: The Teacher and the Nazi Slaves is two books in one, each building on the other, each enhancing the other. Part I is the effort of a masterful German High School teacher and his innovative and indefatigable students to uncover the true history of their charming town, which had once been the site of a Nazi slave labor camp ... Part II is the memoir of Blanka Pudler, who in 1944 was a 15-year-old Hungarian Jewess incarcerated in that camp...The result, a story so worth telling, so well told."
Prof. Michael Berenbaum, America Jewish University; FMR President and CEO, Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation; a leader in the creation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and its FMR Project Director for permanent collections.
"As a teacher in the 1980s, Dieter Vaupel broke the long silence surrounding the crimes of National Socialism. With his students, he documented the suffering of foreign forced workers, established relationships with these exploited people, and carried out numerous efforts honoring their lives, including a life story of Blanka Pudler."
Prof. Dietfrid Krause-Vilmar, Ret. Faculty, University of Marburg and Kassel University; his work has focused on the Holocaust and culture of remembrance; FMR Director, Fritz Bauer Institute, first German interdisciplinary center to investigate and document crimes of the Nazi regime with emphasis on the Holocaust and its longterm effects.
by D.Z. Stone
No Past Tense is the biography of Katarina (Kati) Kellner and William (Willi) Salcer, two Czech Jews who as teenagers were swept up by the Holocaust in Hungary and survived Auschwitz and Mauthausen, respectively.
Covering their entire lives, weaving in first person 'real time' voices as if watching a documentary about themselves, the unique structure of No Past Tense provides a distinctive 'whole life' view of the Holocaust.