Api's Berlin Diaries: Gabrielle Robinson on Confronting the Past
October 29, 2021
Hosted by Diane Dewey
After her mother’s death, Gabrielle Robinson found diaries her grandfather had kept while serving as doctor in Berlin 1945—only to discover that her beloved Api had been a Nazi. Api’s Berlin Diaries offers a first hand and personal perspective on the far reaching aftershocks of the Third Reich and the author’s own inconvenient past. Moving and provocative, Robinson’s award winning memoir shows her grandfather’s work as doctor in the devastated Berlin of 1945. But his diary also reveals that her beloved Api had been a member of the Nazi party. Confronting her family’s past, she reflects on German guilt as well as all our political responsibility. Her memoir also is a tribute to Api with who gave her the first stable home. Readers come away with compassion for Api’s struggles and a renewed awareness of our common humanity. Perhaps it’s a sign of having found a home at last that Gabrielle has won a number of local and statewide awards for her writing and community engagement. The lingering questions her story raises: Can it happen now? What would we do if it did -- how could we demonstrate resistance? What about the disheartening events of our own pasts? You'll hear it here with Gabrielle Robinson on Dropping In.
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Drop in to the dream of becoming an author. How does the book publishing business actually work? If you’re ready to tell your story, what’s the best way to do it? Do you need help crafting this tale? What about workshopping – is that helpful? When are you ready to show your work to a developmental or copy editor? The time may be now. If you’ve finished your manuscript, what are the next steps? Place your book in the context of the marketplace and decide, who is your audience? What’s the best platform to publish your work? Podcast, electronic or paper bound book? Are you well-versed in developing your book proposal? That means having your agent pitch down. Once you’ve secured an agent, what’s the optimal venue to get your book published, with all the support it needs to be seen and heard in media outlets? Whether through traditional, hybrid, indie presses, or a combination, we’ll bring you the experts in the fields of book coaching, agenting, editing, legal advice, publishing, and publicists, plus resources on the craft of writing. No matter what route you take, your best bet is to get educated. Drop in to how stories are made. In the end, we’ll all become stories. —Margaret Atwood
My most pressing question has always been about identity: Who am I? Growing up near Philadelphia with my adoptive family, my genetic identity was hidden. Then, my Swiss biological father, Otto, contacted me when I was age forty-seven in 2002. I’d been told by my adoptive parents that my biological parents were dead, supposedly to protect me. Meeting Otto upended my life. Through him, I met my German biological mother’s family to discover that her story too, had been changed; that she’d not wanted to surrender me and she’d searched for me all her life. Finding my truth was essential.
Based on my experience I am excited to talk to people about their own search for identity. My education includes a BA from Villanova University, a certificate from the Art Institute of Philadelphia and a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Capella University. I’ve worked for The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The SoHo Partnership and the National Academy of Design and have studied writing through New York University’s Continuing Education program. As an entrepreneur, I founded my art appraisal business, The Realization of Art in 2006. My non-fiction writing has been published in Shared Space, a monograph, and in Artes online magazine. Writing workshops worldwide have given me the chance to learn and hone my craft. My first book, “Fixing the Fates,” was awarded the National Non-Fiction Author’s Association Silver Medal and the Living Now Award.