The Historical Background Blog

Where the journeys lead to stories and the stories lead to journeys.

How the Nazis forced Jewish filmmakers and writers to create concentration camp propaganda.
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The power of the subconscious: it wasn't until I was finished writing THE WOMAN AT THE GATES that I realized how very much my maternal grandfather's legacy had played a...
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The power of the subconscious: it wasn't until I was finished writing THE WOMAN AT THE GATES that I realized how very much my maternal grandfather's legacy had played a...
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One portrait of two women, my grandmother, and her sister, has followed me to four countries. When I sat down to write a fictional version of their true stories in...
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In this Q&A with the author, we prepared some possible book club questions that could be posed. Lucyk-Berger provides her insights and the background to writing the characters' lives in...
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I grew up with a very superficial understanding of what it means to come from a family of Ukrainian war refugees. The struggles, the hardships, where we came from—that was...
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A tribute to Stepan Lucyk and Ol'ha Lucyk as well as Yurko Lucyk. My journey to discovering how I am culminated into the novel, THE WOMAN AT THE GATES.
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In August 1948, the farmers of the Reschen Valley awoke to a storm alarm. The sky was blue. But water was seeping into their fields. The company that was building...
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In recent weeks, many of my readers have sent me links to various articles about how the remnants beneath the Reschen Lake Reservoir have “come...
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Easter is my favorite holiday, and with a Ukrainian Orthodox mother and a Ukrainian Catholic father, our family celebrated it twice a year, save for...
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Helene Bertha Amalie "Leni" Riefenstahl (22 August 1902 – 8 September 2003) was a German film director, photographer, and actress, known for her seminal role in producing Nazi propaganda.
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I do have a passion for storytelling; for visiting the fantasy worlds in my head and returning with something that must be transposed onto paper; a painting of words, one...
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I do have a passion for storytelling; for visiting the fantasy worlds in my head and returning with something that must be transposed onto paper; a painting of words, one...
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I do have a passion for storytelling; for visiting the fantasy worlds in my head and returning with something that must be transposed onto paper; a painting of words, one...
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Regardless of where I choose to set my next historical fiction novel, I have to do a lot of research. I try to travel to all of the destinations. My...
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In light of the memorials that have been destroyed and taken down from public spaces this past year, historian Hannes Obermair examines how monuments and memorials should depict both perpetrator...
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After the Great War, in the Austrian province of Tyrol a new conflict began. Imagine you are a German-speaking Tyrolean. You run an inn where,...
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Now working on the fourth book in the series (not including the prequel), I am dealing with the events that led the Third Reich and...
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Food is one of my passions, a close second to writing. When penning the scenes in the Reschen Valley series, I make sure that my characters eat and...
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The Italian woman must follow Italian fashion. Taste, elegance and originality have demonstrated that this initiative can and must be successful. –Italian Fascist Party edict...
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Each of my novels requires anywhere from 20 to 30 books of research about the era I’m writing in. For the Reschen Valley series, I read...
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In the second of this two-part series, I’ll introduce you to the top museums dedicated to depicting the historical battles of WW1 (and WW2) in the...
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In this two-part series, we’re going to take you on a hike through the Italian Dolomites in South Tyrolean territory. In our post in July,...
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Last month, I posted the first of two parts regarding the Catholic rituals and heritage of Palm Sunday through Easter Monday. Having grown up in...
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This year, my husband and I celebrated Catholic Easter in Pitigliano, Italy. Our “big bash” was on Orthodox Easter a week later. I grew up...
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Like the United States has George Washington as its iconic founding father, an Austrian province in the middle of Europe, called Tyrol, gives homage through...
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European Traditions and Culture Around Carnival and Lent One of the things that never cease to amaze me when I travel or visit other cultures...
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Before I started the Reschen Valley series, I was writing about Ukraine in WW2. Shortly after I completed my debut novel, I realized I still...
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The Treaty of St Germain. If you are in the least bit familiar with how WW2 came to a head, then you are also aware...
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Reinforcing a reader’s misconceptions is like feeding junk food to their intelligence. I am not a perfect author. I don’t even know what that is...
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This is going to be a short post. I am still reeling from watching The Promise last night, which takes place in 1914 Istanbul/Constantinople and reveals the...
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