Monthly Archives: February 2017

Montana book-writing partnership is living experiment in peace-making

Brigitte Yearman is not Jewish. Her World War II survival story is from a rarely heard perspective: a child of the regime. From ages 5 to 11, Brigitte was part of the wartime child transports, survived as a North German refugee, escaped Russian soldiers, scavenged bombed out towns for food, and lost many loved ones along the way. Surviving the reconstruction years as a teenager was no easier.

Brigitte and Anika during fact-checking trip in Germany and Poland, 2012.

Fast forward 70 years. Brigitte has raised her family in the U.S., and she moved to Montana to be closer to an adult daughter. She was finally at a stage in life where she felt ready to share her story. Her pastor’s wife, Mary Wagner (Pilgrim Congregational in Bozeman), connected her with a local ghostwriter, Anika Hanisch. There was only one complication: the ghostwriter was Jewish. What would her community think of this project? Could she make room in her own heart for working closely with the child of a Nazi soldier?

It wasn’t easy. The book-writing journey became an experiment in ongoing peace-making dialogue between the two women. They both learned a lot about cultural and familial trauma, and healing, in the process. After six years of interviewing, writing, revising, traveling to Germany to fact-check, and incorporating beta reader feedback, the book is slated for release in late April.

One year of literary agent representation yielded repeated publisher feedback: the story is beautifully crafted, but war stories by women are too hard to market. This feedback came despite early focus group research that indicated otherwise. Brigitte, now in her eighties, has opted to self-publish and get word out through social media. Her Kickstarter campaign ends March 7th. The grassroots crowdfunding will help ensure this timeless and harrowing refugee story is available to a wide readership, as well as the German American Societies and academic programs that need it.

Book Trailer and Project Description:

More About Brigitte:

Join the Crowd-funding Community in Supporting this Unique WWII Voice!

Brigitte-ChildhoodPhotos-02crop3Brigitte’s Kickstarter campaign is now live as of this morning.  We are so excited!  There’s no better day than Valentine’s Day to send a little love to my coauthor, Brigitte Yearman.

To remind you, this is the true story of the child of a German soldier during World War II.  It shares a child’s perspective from inside Nazi-ruled Germany and follows her path of survival during the war, as a refugee, and as a child laborer during the reconstruction years.  This is a rarely heard perspective that holds poignant resonance for us today.

​All the details are here:

Please copy this link and share it with friends.  Kickstarter campaigns are the most successful when the link is shared with people who do not know the author.  Thanks everyone in advance.  Finish line in sight!

And then a whole new adventure begins.   😉

Unique WWII Memoir with Resonance Today, Slated for Spring Book Release

Don'tSayAnything-DraftCoverThe memoir of the child of a German soldier, Don’t Say Anything to Anybody has a lot to say to us today.  And it’s finally slated to hit shelves this spring.  The coauthors, Brigitte Yearman and Anika Hanisch, have announced that they will self-publish, beginning with getting word out through a Kickstarter campaign in mid-February.

After a year of working with a literary agent at the Rudy Agency in Colorado, Yearman and Hanisch decided against renewing the representation agreement in January and have opted for self-publishing instead.  “It’s time for Brigitte to see her book complete and available to a wide readership,” Hanisch said.  “There’s so much regional and sub-cultural demand for this book, and it’s such a timely story right now.  We really can’t wait another year.”

If you wish to be notified about the Kickstarter campaign or the book release date, please email Anika Hanisch at: