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Dreaming in German [Kindle Edition]

Claudia Poser
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.00
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

This memoir turns on the author's immigration to South Carolina at age 13, her childhood spent shuttling back and forth between East and West Germany, and her struggle with the meaning of home as Germany transformed from two states to one. Dreaming in German combines an immigrant memoir from a child of the global professional class with an inside look at the effects of German division on family relationships as seen from the Western side of the Wall.

Product Details

  • File Size: 720 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0578088320
  • Publisher: Triple Water Press (February 19, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BIN01G6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #567,997 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
I couldn't put this book down. Claudia Poser writes brilliantly of her bewilderment as a 13 year old suddenly being forced to move from her native West Germany to the strange new world of Clemson, South Carolina. Claudia and her mother were allies in the battle to move back to Germany but faced a self-confident father and husband who fell in love with America as a German prisoner of war in rural Virginia. Claudia's stories about studying high school culture and learning to navigate the social rules in the segregated south during the civil rights era connected powerfully with my own experience growing up in South Carolina during this time. Her inspiring action - campaigning and speaking out publically for Portia, an African American girl, who was running for student council secretary as the most American thing she had ever done made me cheer! The juxtaposition of these stories to those of visiting family in East Germany were starkly poignant. I was pulled into Claudia's terror of crossing the border into East Germany. The oppressive conditions under which her grandparents, aunts and uncles lived were heart rending. This book is about longing for home and finding that what one thinks of as home gradually recedes out of reach over time as home becomes something infinitely more real and meaningful.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Winner! July 18, 2013
Claudia is born in West Germany, but has relatives living on the other side of the wall, in East Germany. As an only child, and only grandchild, for a time, she loves the gatherings, the food and festivities with their many relatives in her family's regular visits to Eilenburg, East Germany. For many years she thinks of Germany as her home. Things become more complicated when her father's position as sales manager of a textile company requires the family to move to Clemson, South Carolina in America. During the school years she considers clothes styles and culture of Clemson provincial compared to the European styles of her German friends, she becomes adept at learning enough American customs to gain friends and learns about Nazi Germany and holocaust. Many things shift for her relatives in East and West Germany with the fall of the wall in politics, in their financial situations, and facilitated travel.

As Claudia matures, we begin to see how choosing boyfriends, choosing a university choosing a husband is complicated by her conflicting visions of herself with identities loyal to two distinct cultures and locations. I found this memoir, examining the meaning of home, to be a well-written tale with vivid description and points of suspension that make it a page-turner.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was not what I expected. It is the story of a young girl moving (legally, which is much appreciated) to the US from Germany. The book describes her feelings, and some of her mother's, going through the process of adapting to a completely new environment. It was interesting to read about the customs and environment of Germany and see the US through a different prospective.
I would actually have enjoyed reading this book if it were longer. I really enjoyed the details of Germany (particularly the contrast between the East and West) and the different family members.
The only reason I gave the book 4 stars, not 5, is because I felt the author veered off a little in the latter part of the book when speaking about abortion and other protests, and her liberal leanings. I'm just not certain why this information was needed. Perhaps she felt it showed the difference between the reactions of the US and German governments?
Overall, I highly recommend this book. It is definitely one of the few books I have read where I wanted more detail instead of wishing for less. Great for adults but could also be read by those 13 and older. Would be great for the younger people because it gives a bit of history and shows America from a teenage point of view.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read for any European immigrant October 25, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you moved from Europe to the US and were old enough to remember the place you left behind, you will appreciate this book. The amount of details the author remembers is hard to fathom. I certainly don't remember that much about my life, and I am in the same age group as her. The best parts are about culture shock (both when arriving here and when visiting the old country), and the everlasting ambiguity about where home is, where you really belong. Also the details about life in the former East Germany are interesting. On the downside, the story gets a bit long at times, and could have used some humor to liven things up. All in all these are minor complaints and I would definitely recommend this book - as a matter of fact I did, to a person I just met who moved here from Austria.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finding home February 17, 2013
Claudia Poser's unique experience as an immigrant, caught not only between the two worlds of Germany & the US but also between the capitalist system of those nations & the totalitarian rule of East Germany, is eloquently shared in this memoir. I found the writing both lyrical and evocative. Ultimately, though the details may differ, this book speaks to the search for "home" shared by so many of us. It details one woman's journey to that so often elusive sense of belonging we all yearn for, revealing truths learned along the way that are often unexpected and profound. Poser's book is altogether a captivating read!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Who Am I
A good perspective of a persons life living during the pre & post Berlin Wall era while trying to fit in both in Germany and the USA. Read more
Published 2 months ago by MarvinTM
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read!
It's everything you could want in a book. It takes you into the journey of the past, like you're reading a journal and you can see it all in your head. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Trina
5.0 out of 5 stars It was a very good book. It was interesting to know what happened ...
It was a very good book. It was interesting to know what happened to some people after WWII, and how the East Germans suffered. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Carolyn Olson
5.0 out of 5 stars Dreaming in German by Claudia Poser
Beautiful book shedding light on the many feelings that come with immigration or just moving from one place to another as a child away from all extended family. Read more
Published 3 months ago by nancy Sheridan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Well written account of 'becoming' American.
Published 3 months ago by Lance Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this memoir!
A year ago we were saying goodbye to our German exchange student. Her family had come to the US to tour and accompany her home. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Michelle Good
3.0 out of 5 stars Just ok, a bit wordy
I must admit I struggled to get through this one. It was overly long and dragged on in spots. I enjoyed the parts about Claudia's youth, her relatives and the fears in going from... Read more
Published 3 months ago by J. Lewis
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story
Lovely memoir, nicely written and a pleasure to read. Provides interesting insights into post war Germany and life as an immigrant.
Published 4 months ago by Lisa
4.0 out of 5 stars An alternate way to learn recent history
One of the best non-fiction that I have read in a long time. Recommended to my book club
Published 4 months ago by Stan
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I have read in years
This memoir relates experiences from Communistic East Germany, West Germany, and America as they evolved into the 21st century from post WWII. Read more
Published 5 months ago by John Grimsrud
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More About the Author

Claudia Poser is a writer, artist, and former polymer chemist. She grew up in Germany, moved to South Carolina at age 13, and eventually found a home in Minnesota, where she lives with her husband, Ron. She received a Loft Creative Non-Fiction Mentorship based on an early version of Dreaming in German.

When she's not writing or visiting relatives in Germany, she's playing with clay at her ceramics studio in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District.

Find out more about her memoir at

If you're curious about her art, check out

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