THE YELLOW STAR THAT ALMOST WAS: QUESTIONS AMERICANS ASK ME ABOUT SCANDINAVIA DURING THE HOLOCAUST YEARS is a collection of true stories and biographies that highlight real characters and events, all rooted in the unexpected and surprising questions I’ve received in my continued lectures and writings. Readers of this non-fiction work get important historical facts (for instance, that Hitler invaded Denmark and Norway on the same day in 1940 while Finland and Sweden were left alone) without being over-whelmed by mind-numbing information, in a way that the previous literature about the years 1940-1945 has not done.
My personal reflections give this collection of stories a memoiristic feel, which not only helps readers relate on a more personal level but lets them see how history and culture continue to affect the way we still view human relations, specifically in the area of tolerance.
To mention just one example of how my own contemplation of the subject has been shaped by my interactions with my audiences, when one listener asked about rumors that Jean Sibelius(world-famous composer from Finland) may have been antisemitic it sent me to his partially-published journals, which are written in Swedish (my native tongue) and apparently the root of the claim of an antisemitic Sibelius. Is it possible that these personal journal entries are lost in translation? While I reflect on that question I also consider the historical context of Finland during Sibelius’s time and what he meant to me and my contemporaries born and raised in his native country.
Among my unique qualifications are my proficiency in all Scandinavian languages, my scholarly background, and that I – through continued lectures and writings – know what Americans want to know about this part of history involving four Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden), all with their own unique experiences.
The manuscript is currently in progress and soon I’ll be querying potential literary agents. Watch for the book!