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     James Cloud is a retired educator with more than 30 years of experience teaching History, Government, U.S. Citizenship Preparation, German and English as a Second Language. Among his awards are The Adult Educator of the Year in Utah. 

     Cloud was born and brought up in Las Vegas, New Mexico shortly before the outbreak of World War II. In 1942, he entered Miss Kohn’s first grade class. Mr. Lingnau, his mother’s grocer, was German. He was a very nice man who used to give the children candy. When it was pointed out that Miss Kohn was Jewish, it was the first time he had ever heard that word. As the children began to hear more about the war and the treatment of the Jewish people in Europe, it created a great curiosity about the conflict between the Germans in Europe, who were viewed as the “bad guys” and the Jews. Why would such nice people hate each other? In Las Vegas, New Mexico they didn’t. This created a dilemma for Cloud, leading to a life-long interest in these two cultures.

     As a young adult, the author traveled to Germany, learned the language and was accepted into the Institute of Arts in West Berlin, completing a degree in Industrial Design and an apprenticeship at Siemens. While living in Germany, he worked as an interpreter for the British Military Mission during the Cold War years and developed an intimate knowledge of both East and West Berlin. 

     Returning to the States, Cloud married and completed a Master’s Degree in German Linguistics and Literature at California State University at Fullerton.

He began writing his first novel, Brandenburg: A Story of Berlin, at the age of Eighty, bringing together his impressions gained over a lifetime of teaching and interacting with many nationalities and cultures – most especially with German and Jewish people.

     He has attempted to provide an account of life in Germany as told from the German perspective, as compared to the many books about that era told from an Allied point of view so we can have a better understanding of the events that ultimately led up to the tragedy of the Holocaust and a ruinous war.

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