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Germans Are Funny Too!

Stories of My Cuckoo Kraut Family

GermansAreFunnyToo BOOK EXCERPT:
Every family is unique with their own stories as well as dysfunctions. Some good, some bad. Some funny, some sad. So, why write about the Deutsche (German) side of my family? For starters, Germans are usually depicted either as evil Nazis or exceedingly stoic and stubborn; certainly not warm and fuzzy. Don’t get me wrong, I acknowledge these stereotypes are at times true, but there’s so much more to their personalities and characters, at least from my point of view. For I’ve had the honor and privilege of experiencing German people and culture firsthand through­out my life via my mother and her family. 

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“The biggest strength of this book is that each story is told in a way that makes it easy for a reader to relate to, regardless of background (German or non-German). It also illuminates the thousand different ways that one’s family, culture and history can impact one’s day to day life. The comfortable, easy-going tone of the author gives the reader the sense of hearing a friend sharing treasured memories, and is one of the best aspects of the story.”

- Glaister Kerr; Cross Key Entertainment Group, Formerly of Miramax

BOOK EXCERPT:Philipp Schäfer, my grandfather or Opa as I called him, was one of the kindest, gentlest, yet strongest of character a man I’ve ever known. He never spoke about his experiences in World War II, his time at the Russian prisoner of war camp after the conflict ended, or his imprisonment in the concentration camp of Buchenwald before the battle ensued. page14
Opa as Bürgermeister.


Emma Schäfer, my grandmother, only passed away in 2002, just a month shy of her 94th birthday, so there are many more memories and stories about her to share. She also loved telling anecdotes herself and had the best deep belly laugh.

“I read this book and found it very entertaining. For those of us who have been here for many years and have gone back and forth to Germany with our offspring will recognize the differences in cilture and habits perceived especially by our American kids. The episodes described could no doubt be out of our own lives”

- Rosemarie Deutsch; German-American Social Club of Sarasota

page121 page134
Omi as a young girl and her siblings. Left to right: Rosel, Leo, Maria (Ma), Emma (Omi), Anni, and Heinrich. Approximately 1915. Family portrait, approximately 1944.From left to right, Erwin, Wolfgang, Omi, my mother and Werner. Missing are the two eldest children (Helmut and Irmgard) due to the requirement to serve in the Hitler Youth Group Movement, and Opa who was drafted in the German Army and sent to the Russian front battlefield. Omi had this picture taken to have delivered to him, but I don’t know if he ever received it.


My mother occasionally mixes up the two different languages. At times, especially if she’s been alternately speaking German and English for translation purposes, my mother can become confused, thereby switching them up without being consciously aware. For example, she’ll start speaking German to someone who only understands English so I must intervene. I keep her straight by saying, “Speak English mother, English!”

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