Willy Wenger's wartime memoir is published on his 90th birthday

Published by carolyn on Sat, 2016-05-14 17:38

Willy Wenger, WWII combat veteran, holds his just published memoir at a book presentation in Gleichenberg, Austria on May 12th, seven  days after turning 90 years old. His wife Wilma stands at left, Frau Bürgermeisterin Christine Siegl at right.

"BERLIN SPRING 1945" IS A NEW TITLE PUBLISHED BY THE AUSTRIAN CARINA VERLAG. It relates Wenger's experience as a young soldier from the Steiermark, full of ideals and loyalty to his country who, before his pilot training was completed, was placed on the front line at Seelow Heights for the defense of Berlin. With his company, he was forced to retreat back to Berlin, where the Battle of Berlin was raging. How this 19 year-old survived several months of chaotic conditions and a badly wounded foot to find his way back to his hometown of Leoben is a powerful and worthwhile contribution to the history of the the war from the German side.

The book is basically what I have published, translated into English, in the Wenger Family Archive here at CarolynYeager.net, but with some differences, Wenger says. It features a forward by the well-known Brigadier-ret J. Paul Puntigam, Chief of Infantry and Commandant of the Jägerschule. Here is a video of him speaking at the Press Club in Graz in 2013 on the topic “We need reform.”

The book's release date on Thursday, May 12, 2016 was celebrated with an official presentation event in Gleichenberg, where Willy and his wife Wilma have long made their home. It took place in the Gleichenberg Conference Center, arranged by Mrs. Christine Siegel and attended by publisher Carina Klemmer and many friends and well-wishers of Mr. Wenger, who turned 90 on May 5th.

Klemmer and a moderator did an interview with Wenger, and answered questions. I heartily congratulate Willy Wenger on this wonderful recognition (and on his milestone birthday!), and am grateful to those who played a part in bringing it about.

Here are some pictures from the event.

Ready for the interview. On the screen, the picture of his mother looking out their apartment window, as she was doing when Willy arrived home on foot in 1945 and waved at her from the street. Standing at left is the publisher Carinna Klemmer.  [See part 2]

A nice gathering in an attractive room.

There was no lack of purchasers. Everyone went home with a signed copy or two of the book.

Willy signing his book.


World War II