Date

4-28-2020

Description

My project is a novel that blends my passions for creative writing and historical research to bring an obscure piece of World War II disability history into public consciousness. From 1939 to 1945, the Nazis murdered 275,000 disabled people under the auspices of medical care. Six "euthanasia" centers were set up across Germany, and "patients" suffered a 100% mortality rate. This novel is my attempt to humanize the victims of this atrocity. My protagonist is Eva Schreiber, a totally blind teenager whose illusions about Nazi ideology are shattered when her older brother Dietrich, a Waffen-SS officer, tells her that the Nazis consider disabled people "life unworthy of life." Eva is marked for death and is quickly transferred to the killing center at Sonnenstein. At the eleventh hour, she and three other girls are rescued by an idealistic young nurse named Greta Zimmermann, who works with Dietrich and others to subvert the euthanasia program and hide a group of disabled teens who call themselves the Ghost Children. In hiding, Eva grows more comfortable with her blindness, falls in love, and plots ways to more actively resist the Nazis. My experiences as a totally blind woman inform my writing of this book. While the novel is fiction, I've striven for historical authenticity. The Ghost Children is the result of hours of careful research balanced with development of plot and character. If chosen to present at the conference, I will briefly explain the historical events and read one chapter of my novel.

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Apr 28th, 12:00 AM

The Ghost Children: A Novel of World War II Disability History

My project is a novel that blends my passions for creative writing and historical research to bring an obscure piece of World War II disability history into public consciousness. From 1939 to 1945, the Nazis murdered 275,000 disabled people under the auspices of medical care. Six "euthanasia" centers were set up across Germany, and "patients" suffered a 100% mortality rate. This novel is my attempt to humanize the victims of this atrocity. My protagonist is Eva Schreiber, a totally blind teenager whose illusions about Nazi ideology are shattered when her older brother Dietrich, a Waffen-SS officer, tells her that the Nazis consider disabled people "life unworthy of life." Eva is marked for death and is quickly transferred to the killing center at Sonnenstein. At the eleventh hour, she and three other girls are rescued by an idealistic young nurse named Greta Zimmermann, who works with Dietrich and others to subvert the euthanasia program and hide a group of disabled teens who call themselves the Ghost Children. In hiding, Eva grows more comfortable with her blindness, falls in love, and plots ways to more actively resist the Nazis. My experiences as a totally blind woman inform my writing of this book. While the novel is fiction, I've striven for historical authenticity. The Ghost Children is the result of hours of careful research balanced with development of plot and character. If chosen to present at the conference, I will briefly explain the historical events and read one chapter of my novel.