D. Z. Stone’s career began in Ithaca, NY, where she worked in radio news at WVBR-FM and wrote and produced documentaries for Cornell Media. Working in NYC in the mid-1980s, she was among the first professional interactive writers. After over 15 years in corporate, marketing and financial writing, she returned to journalism in 2005, reporting for The New York Times and Newsday. A graduate of the College of William and Mary, she holds a master’s in Cultural Anthropology from Columbia University.
D.Z.Stone authored the acclaimed biography of Kati and Willi Salcer, No Past Tense: Love and Survival in the Shadow of the Holocaust (Vallentine Mitchell; October 2019). No Past Tense is now in over 500 university libraries and taught in college courses on the Holocaust, Jewish Literature and Refugee Studies.
She is also author of Part One of the two-part book, A Fairy Tale Unmasked: The Teacher and the Nazi Slaves (Vallentine Mitchell; February 2021). The German publisher Schüren-Verlag will publish a German translation of Part One in Spring 2023.
D.Z. Stone’s debut fiction appears along with award-winning and bestselling authors in the short story anthology Coolest American Stories 2022 (Coolest Stories Press; January 2022).
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.
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.
Mark Wish & Elizabeth Coffey, Editors
In Coolest American Stories 2022, America's most talented storytellers share their most courageous, compelling, unputdownable work in a collection made for story lovers.
The collection includes stories by major-book-award-winning and bestselling authors as well as the short story “Spies” by D.Z. Stone, called a classic of literary fiction.