Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Finalist for 2012 Balboa Press Non-Fiction Writer's Contest

For Immediate Release                                                

"Through Innocent Eyes – The Chosen Girls of the Hitler Youth"
By Cynthia A. Sandor

"Through Innocent Eyes – The Chosen Girls of the Hitler Youth," written by former Greenwich resident Cynthia A. Sandor has been selected as a finalist in the 2012-Balboa Press Writer's Contest.   Hay House Visions, the new publishing division of Hay House, teamed up with Balboa Press for the first-ever Non-Fiction Writing Contest. The manuscript had to be at least 50,000 words in length.  Entries are judged based on the context, originality of ideas, quality of writing, and the adherence to editorial standards. On Nov. 5th, the winning recipient will receive a publishing contract with Hay House Visions.

"Through Innocent Eyes," is a historical non-fiction, four-hundred page novel based upon the personal journal of the author's mother, Gertrude Kerschner, and her life growing up in Kleinzell, Austria, during WWII, and how she meets PFC Robert Sandor, Sr. of the 65th Infantry - 1285th Army Corp. of Engineer Battalion, Company C.

Gertrude's incredible journey begins in 1931, when, at the age of four, she is on the verge of dying. Catastrophe ensues when Gertrude's father dies and the family looses their life possessions, forcing her mother and siblings into the streets. A simple wooden wagon contains all their belongings. A neighbor sees their peril and takes the entire family into her home. As Austria is devoted to remaining independent, political and economic turmoil continues. Austria ceases to exist in 1938 when it is annexed into Nazi Germany.  Under the new government, Gertrude joins the girls division of the Hitler Youth called the Bund Deutscher Mädel (BdM) and her life changes forever. 

This remarkable story takes an in-depth look into Gertrude's moral character upbringing, her thoughts, writings, and the education she received that leads her to become a chosen girl of the Hitler Youth, serving in the Country Service Camp called "Landjahr Lager Seidorf." "Through Innocent Eyes" follows Gertrude's extraordinary journey, her passage from poverty ruled under a totalitarian régime to an affluent life living in prestigious Greenwich, Connecticut. 

"It is a great honor to be recognized for this very prominent award." Ms. Sandor continues and explains that, "I started this project 23 years ago. Over the past 15 months, I dedicated up to fourteen-hours a day, six days a week, researching, and writing 'Through Innocent Eyes.' I was able to find declassified material from the archives in Germany and London, in addition to finding the original educational pamphlets that were used to teach the BdM girls how to build their moral character.  I traveled on numerous occasions to Austria and Poland, but most of all, I was able to make contact with the last four surviving members of Landjahr Lager Seidorf, otherwise known as the Seidorfer Girls."

Ms. Sandor goes on to explain, "I wish to dispel the myth that these girls in the BdM were brainwashed only to produce the future soldiers for their Führer. My mother was chosen as a Landjahr girl because Germany only wanted those girls who possess the highest moral character, strong work ethics, who were disciplined and obedient to serve in their country.  I capture in detail the ceremonies and songs, ancient neo-pagan rituals, traditions, and folklore, just as my mother wrote about it in her personal journal, and as she experienced it over seventy years ago. The photos I will include in "Through Innocent Eyes" will give a comprehensive look into the lifestyle of this period in history. Reviewers have informed me that this is the opposite of The Diary of Anne Frank."

Ms. Sandor cites the following words from German psychologist, Dr. Jutta Rüdiger: "Germany only wants girls who are at harmony between their bodies, souls, and spirit.  We need girls who, through healthy bodies and balanced minds, embody the beauty of Divine creation.  The task of the BdM is to raise girls who believed in their country, their leader, and who will pass these beliefs onto the future children."  Her first historical non-fiction novel "Through Innocent Eyes" is currently in production and scheduled for release in the early part of 2013 through Balboa Press.  It will be internationally available through the Ingram Distribution Network, and to retailers, libraries, and universities.

About the Author:

Cynthia A. Sandor was born in New York and raised in Greenwich, Connecticut. She was employed with Cherry Lane Music Publishing Co., Inc., as the Manager of Copyrights, Administration, and Licensing. She moved to Florida and graduated from St. Petersburg College. Battling through the deaths of her parents, cancer, and a divorce, she followed her father's example and started her own property renovations and management business. At the same time, she received her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration with a minor in Human Development from Eckerd College.  She survived a horrific motorcycle accident, which propelled her to produce the "Lady Rider TV Show" on Pinellas County Public Access Television.  Other shows included "The Business Forum," and "Travels with Cindy." She is an accomplished world traveler having visited over 20 countries. She has written for "Guitar for the Practicing Musician," "Biker Ally Magazine," and "Tampa Bay New Times Magazine."  She has a contributing article in the "50th Anniversary Maiden Voyage Edition – S.S. United States - Fastest Ship in the World" by Frank Braynard and Robert Hudson Westover. Ms. Sandor lives with her two Chihuahuas, Nicky, and Harley, in Tampa, Florida. 

Website: http://www.bdmhistory.com (*** NEW **** revised edition of book)
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0sMIEwA8BU
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rP8bzuMf1Ew
Book Interview with Deanna Spingola: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xbB3GbWLjs
Gertrude's Life Story - 15 minute video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_I_UDTWsaD8