Sunbury Press Releases “German Prisoners of War at Camp Cooke, California,” by Jeffrey E. Geiger

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Sunbury Press is proud to announce the release of German Prisoners of War at Camp Cooke, California. It comes on the 75th anniversary of the first large wave of German POWs to arrive in America in 1943.

About the Book: Hitler’s soldier’s came to America not as goose-stepping conquering heroes, but as prisoners of war. By the time World War II ended in 1945, more than six hundred POW camps had sprung up across America holding a total of 371,683 German POWs. One of these camps was established at the U.S. Army’s training installation Camp Cooke on June 16, 1944.

The POW base camp at Cooke operated sixteen branch camps in six of California’s fifty-eight counties and is today the site of Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County. Compared to other prisoner of war camps in California, Camp Cooke generally held the largest number of German POWs and operated the most branch camps in the state.

A large number of the prisoners were from Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps, as well as from other military formations. Under the terms of the Geneva Convention, the prisoners received comfortable quarters and excellent care. They filled massive wartime labor shortages inside the main Army post at Cooke and in the private sector, mostly performing agricultural work for which they were paid. On weekends and evenings, they enjoyed many recreational entertainment and educational opportunities available to them in the camp. For many POWs, the American experience helped reshape their worldview and gave them a profound appreciation of American democracy.

This book is the compelling story of fourteen German soldiers who were captured during the campaigns in North Africa and Europe, and then waited out the remainder of the war as POWs in California. It is a firsthand account of life as a POW at Camp Cooke and the lasting impression it had on the prisoners.

Book review:

"This is one of the best books that you will ever read about the German POW experience in America.I purchased my copy at the author's book discussion. Mr. Geiger gives his interviews full reign to discuss their experiences as soldiers in the Third Reich and their recollections as prisoners of war, while gently asking probing questions that elicit fascinating morsels of information. For instance, the terrible food supply in the German army, Nazi propaganda that claimed the Luftwaffe had bombed America; and hardcore Nazis intimidating fellow prisoners. Then there are instances of humanity between "enemies" such as when prisoners returned the rifles to the guard who has forgotten them while watching the POWs harvest crops; and the guards who handed his rifle to one of the prisoners when he had to relieve himself behind a bush. These are just a few of the anecdotes that make this book so fascinating. As I read each man's account, I began to feel as if I knew him personally. The excellent collection of illustrations adds to the feeling of being in the camp. The last chapter of this book should be read and studied by anyone who thinks that war is fun. These old warriors, who experienced the tragedies of war, share their views on how senseless it all was. This book review is for the expanded second edition of the book, published in 2018."

~ Joan Pirtle, five star Amazon review

Softcover 6 x 9

280 pages with more than 50 vintage photos

ISBN: 9781620067505 (softcover). Suggested retail price $19.95

ISBN: 978-1-62006-751-2 (eBook)

 

About the Author

Jeffrey E. Geiger is a retired professional historian. He is the author of Camp Cooke and Vandenberg Air Force Base, 1941-1966, and has published articles in magazines and newspapers.

 

To purchase:

Sunbury Press Store

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

 

Contact

sunburypress.com

Toll-Free Phone: (855) 338-8359

orders@sunburypress.com

 

The book is also available from all booksellers as well as autographed copies directly from the author at:

germanpowbook@gmail.com

World War 2 atrocities in the Pacific recalled by Navy Seabee in new book “Dreams of My Comrades: The Story of MM1C Murray Jacobs”

World War 2 atrocities in the Pacific recalled by Navy Seabee in new book “Dreams of My Comrades: The Story of MM1C Murray Jacobs”

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Sunbury Press has released Dreams of My Comrades: The Story of MM1C Murray Jacobs by Scott Zuckerman, MD.

About the Book:

When a ninety-five-year-old World War II veteran from Utah agrees to reveal the untold details of his wartime experiences to a pediatrician from Brooklyn, an intense bond is formed between the two men, each of whom is taken on an unexpected journey in search of the truth.

Dreams of My Comrades chronicles the life of Murray Jacobs, a former Navy Seabee, who served in the Pacific Theater and was treated for PTSD until his death at the age of ninety-eight. He agreed to a series of interviews, under the strict conditions that his real name could not be used, and the details of the conversations could not be disclosed to anyone until after he was dead.

Murray’s story is not one of heroism, nor does he portray himself as heroic in his narrative. In the course of his dialogue with the author, Murray confesses to wartime atrocities the likes of which have never before been heard. Despite his advanced age, his recollections are entirely lucid, and he describes the events of his life in vivid detail. As the conversations progress, however, the author comes to recognize the challenges involved in trying to depict history based on the account of a single elderly man. Discrepancies lead to doubts, doubts lead to disbelief, disbelief leads to investigation, and after exhausting all possible avenues of research, unanswered questions linger and tantalize. This is a unique story, one that will not only appeal to connoisseurs of history but to anyone interested in the psychology of the human condition. It is unlike any narrative ever told about a veteran of the Second World War.

About the Author:

Dr. Scott Zuckerman was born in Brooklyn, New York, and attended Stuyvesant High School in lower Manhattan. His high school English teacher, Frank McCourt—who would later win a Pulitzer Prize for his memoir, Angela’s Ashes—inscribed in his yearbook, “You have displayed the writer’s gift. Cultivate it.” Forty years later, after a successful career as a physician, Zuckerman has heeded McCourt’s advice. Dreams of My Comrades was awarded first place in the nonfiction category of the 2015 Utah Original Writing Competition.

What Others Are Saying:

“I found Dreams of My Comrades captivating. When I put it down at night I was eager to return to it the next day. The author was not only on top of his subject, I found him likable, funny, clever, sympathetic, insightful, and as fair as he could, in good conscience, be. How war atrocities gave way to an unexpected mystery midstream was particularly compelling. The title, which I didn’t think much of in the beginning, turns out to be brilliant.”  —Poe Ballantine, Award-winning author of Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere

by Scott Zuckerman, MD
SUNBURY PRESS
Trade paperback – 6 x 9 x .7
9781620067451
296 Pages
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychopathology / Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
HISTORY / Military / World War II
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Military

Also available on Kindle

For more information, please see:

http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Dreams-of-My-Comrades-9781620067451.htm

Marie Sontag's "Rising Hope" reviewed by academic journal "The Polish Review"

From The Polish Review, Vol. 61, No. 1, 2016. Copyright 2016 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. Reprinted with permission.

rh_fcMarie Sontag, Rising Hope Book I: Warsaw Rising Trilogy (Mechanicsburg, PA: Sunbury Press, 2015), 220 pp. ISBN 97816220065563.

Polish and Polish American themes in English- language fiction for young readers are rare indeed. A few titles for children were published during the 1980s by Anne Pellowski, and in the early 2000s Karen Cushman came out with her novel Rodzina about a Polish preteen traveling west on an orphan train. Titles for adolescents have been just as rare. Two notable novels for young adults include Susan Campbell Bartoletti’s A Coalminer’s Bride: The Diary of Anetka Kaminska (2000), a historical narrative set in the anthracite region of Pennsylvania in the late 1800s, and Maja Wojciechowska’s brilliant fictionalized memoir of World War II, Till the Break of Day (1972). With the publication of Rising Hope, Marie Sontag joins this small group of writers focused on young readers. Sontag, just like Wojciechowska, chooses World War II as the background of her novel, but unlike Wojciechowska, she does so without the advantage of personal experience. Sontag’s interest in Polish history might have been generated by her family background. In the novel’s dedication, she identifies her paternal grandfather’s name as Reikowski.

Rising Hope is the first volume in Sontag’s ambitious plan for a trilogy of historical novels for young adults, novels set in Poland during the most turbulent times of recent Polish history. Her initial volume covers the five years of German occupation beginning with September 1939 and ending with the Warsaw Uprising in 1944 and the methodical destruction of the city by the Germans after the fall of the uprising. Sontag plans the second volume to document the years of Soviet domination of Poland between 1944 and 1989, and the final volume will carry her characters to the present time. It is probably fair to say that Marie Sontag, who describes herself as an educator, attempts to accomplish several didactic goals in her fiction. Thus, Rising Hope informs her young readers about the tragic realities of life in Warsaw during the German occupation and extols the bravery of Polish resistance fighters, especially the very young, presenting their deep patriotism and their willingness to sacrifice their lives for the freedom of Poland. At the same time, Sontag finds effective techniques to introduce her readers to Polish music and literature and the more distant past. So every now and then, her young characters may casually discuss the accomplishments of Frederic Chopin, or they may study for their clandestine lessons devoted to Polish poets such as Słowacki or Krasiński or to great freedom fighters such as Kościuszko and Kiliński. Sontag reinforces such miniature in- text lectures with a glossary, which identifies all historical figures and provides brief biographies and images.

While constructing the novel’s plot, Sontag effectively introduces fictional characters into historical sabotage actions carried out by some of the most famous Home Army fighters: Zośka, Rudy, Moro, and several others. Sontag focuses particularly on the role Polish scouts played in the struggle against the German occupation, both during the Warsaw Uprising and during the months leading to its outbreak. Her novel pays homage to the youngest fighters, who sacrificed their lives for Polish freedom. She movingly describes the death of seven- year- old Henio Dąbrowski, who works as a newspaper boy distributing copies of an illegal Polish newspaper, Informational Bulletin. Tragically, Henio becomes an object of interest to a couple of German policemen patrolling the streets of Warsaw. One of them “pointed his gun at Henio’s back. As if in slow motion, Tadzio [Henio’s older brother and the novel’s protagonist] saw the German pull the trigger. Blam! Only one shot. Henio’s arms flew up. His fine light- brown hair lifted in the breeze as his face contorted in pain. Henio’s legs went out under him. Women across the street screamed. The two policemen laughed, and then walked away” (138).

This tragic episode is one of a whole string of events that contribute to the growth of Tadzio Dąbrowski. In this classic Bildungsroman, Sontag allows her readers to follow Tadzio’s education and maturation process. The war deprives him of all parental support. His father leaves on a mysterious mission, and his mother and a trusted housekeeper are both arrested by the Germans and, after months of interrogations in the infamous Pawiak prison, are sent to Ravensbruck, a concentration camp for women. At thirteen, when the novel begins, Tadzio finds support from the leaders of his scout troop but refuses to engage in the scout actions against the occupiers. The readers witness his growth into a young patriot and a Home Army soldier.

To help her readers become familiar with both fictional and historical characters, Sontag lists them all in the glossary. This is an excellent idea, since some of the difficult Polish names may become confusing to English- speaking readers. However, one decision that the author makes in this regard is questionable. Her useful glossary offers her readers, in addition to brief biographies, photographic images of all characters: both historical figures and the fictional characters. So a question arises regarding whose pictures are used to illustrate fictional characters. If these period photographs depict some nameless victims of German terror, fictionalizing their lives and making up their names is disturbing. It victimizes them yet again. In future printings of Rising Hope, the author should consider deleting the photographs used for fictional characters and also replacing the map of Ukraine printed twice at the beginning and the end of the book with a historical map of Poland that reflects its pre- 1939 borders. A historical map of Poland would be very helpful for Sontag’s young readers.

Writing historical novels is not easy. The difficulty lies not in securing information about historical events, which are usually well documented, but in getting the seemingly insignificant details of everyday life right. Except for a couple of errors, such as having Polish peasants drive pickup trucks during the German occupation or not realizing that a couple of German Jewish boys who spoke only German and Yiddish would have linguistic difficulty in communicating with Polish children, Sontag is very successful in creating a picture of Warsaw during World War II. Rising Hope teaches its readers about living conditions in occupied Warsaw and presents the whole spectrum of societal attitudes toward the occupiers. The novel is populated not only by courageous freedom fighters but also by ruthless collaborators and informers who are willing to sell their compatriots to the enemy, knowing full well that they are sending others to their deaths just to gain financial advantages. The novel’s list of minor characters includes also Poles willing to risk their lives to save Jews, Jews who serve as soldiers in the Polish Home Army battalions, sadistic German soldiers, and some good Germans whose help saves Polish lives. Marie Sontag’s novel is an important addition to young adult literature in English.

Grazyna J. Kozaczka

Cazenovia College

Top secret mission to Tokyo in 1945 by US Airman related to the A-Bomb?

MECHANICSBURG, Pa.Sunbury Press has released Rising Sun Descending, Wade Fowler’s historical/contemporary mystery novel.

rsd_fcAbout the Book:
As journeyman journalist Revere Polk investigates the 40-year-old murder of his grand greatuncle, Jacob Wissler Addison, a cold case suddenly comes to a full boil. What did Uncle Jake’s top secret, but ill-fated, mission to Tokyo in August of 1945 have to do with a modern-day plot to assassinate the president of the United States? And was the atom bombing of Japan really necessary?

The answers await in Rising Sun Descending.

Excerpt:
8 a.m. Monday, August 15, 2011, Harrisburg, PA
“You’re being downsized,” Grayson Collingsworth said.

Revere Polk had just settled into the stuffed leather visitor’s chair in Collingsworth’s plush office on the second floor of the Daily Telegraph, three blocks off Market Square.

Rumors of layoffs were rampant in the newsroom. Revere—Rev to friend and foe alike―had rehearsed a dozen reactions and decided silence was the best strategy. He crossed one long leg over the other, cocked his head to the right, and considered Collingsworth as if he were sighting down the barrel of an assault rifle.

Down on the street, state workers scurried from the parking garages to their jobs in the halls of government. Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, cleaved to state government like a tick to a bloodhound.

The wood paneling of Collingsworth’s office gleamed in the sunlight peeking through the curtains. Footprints would linger on the plush pile until the next vacuuming. The editor’s big desk glowed with the patina of years of furniture polish.

Collingsworth lurked behind the desk, six-two, and 250 pounds—a collegiate linebacker going to seed in middle age. The trappings of power diminished him more than they built him up. Pockmarked and greasy-haired, he was a mutt misplaced at Westminster.

Younger by a decade and taller by a good two inches, Rev was a fit 210 pounds. He slouched in contemptuous nonchalance.

“Well, say something,” Collingsworth barked.

Point for the home team, Rev thought. “So the profit margin’s down to what, nine percent? Most businesses these days would kill for those numbers. Grocery stores get by on 2 percent … or less.”

Collingsworth’s wince told Rev that his analysis was spot on.

“And your solution is to fire the experienced staff, and leave the news gathering to young pups who can’t find their asses with both hands.”

“It’s the economy, Rev. You know that as well as I do.”

The editor’s gruff voice couldn’t obscure the cheap whine he’d brought to this party.

“Christ, Gray, Jillian what’s-her-name, your new city hall reporter, misspelled the mayor’s name in the lead of today’s A-1 story on the incinerator bond debacle and the dumb newbies on the copy desk didn’t catch it until the suburban edition―and then only because I told them. Is that what this business is coming to?”

“Don’t you want to hear the terms?” Collingsworth asked.

Rev’s smile didn’t reach his eyes. “Sure, Gray. Why don’t you tell me how magnanimous you’re going to be?”

“We’re prepared to offer you a year’s salary and medical benefits … as long as you sign a one-year non-compete.”

“I suppose you’re offering Sophie the same deal?”

Collingsworth leaned back in his chair and made a tent of his fingertips. “Actually, we’ve asked Sophie to stay on. We can’t empty the stable of all our investigative reporters.”

About the Author
Wade Fowler is a career journalist with more than thirty years of experience with daily and weekly newspapers. He was a copy editor, feature writer and beat reporter for The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, PA, for 10 years before leaving to become editor of the Perry County Times in New Bloomfield.

He has won Keystone Press Awards for investigative reporting, feature series writing, and headline writing and is a former president of the Pennsylvania Society of Newspaper Editors.

Fowler is a native of North Carolina, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, and a graduate of Guilford College, Greensboro, N.C.

He and his wife, Sharon, live in New Cumberland, PA. They have three children and two grandchildren.

Rising Sun Descending
Authored by Wade Fowler
List Price: $19.95
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on White paper
296 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620065358
ISBN-10: 1620065355
BISAC: Fiction / Historical

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Rising-Sun-Descending-97…