Franziska in her art gallery, F&B Gallery, Longmont, CO in 1983.
“Chopin Through the Window is an enthralling memoir that tells the story of a young Czech woman of German ancestry caught up in the turmoil of World War II. So effortless is the writing, so entrancing is the story, that the book is impossible to put down. Ms. Stein's memoir should be required reading for history students. Her eye for detail, her unflinching honesty and her extraordinary memory make this an unforgettable read. More important, she recounts a slice of history that is not well known. She was a member of the German minority living in the Czechoslovakia when Hitler came to power and unflinchingly recounts the hope that ethnic Germans experienced when they first heard him speak, their gradual disillusionment, and the terror and uncertainty that they suffered when they were expelled with millions of other Germans from Czechoslovakia at war's end.”
—Eileen Welsome, winner of the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting and author of The Plutonium Files and The General and the Jaguar
Franziska with daughter Barbara (right) during the Soviet Blockade of Berlin, 1949.
Ambassador Johnny Young (Ret), Franziska, Dr. Amy, Crews Cutts, and Angie Young, January 2019.
“When I met Franziska Stein in 2016, I knew that I had come into the company of an extraordinary woman. In her remarkable autobiography, Chopin Through the Window, she confirms my impression as she chronicles the incredible life she has led over the past nine decades. Her story is detailed and sweeping in scope, replete with events and episodes played out against the historical backdrops of the times and places where they unfolded. Throughout, she demonstrates time and again courage, resolve, family commitment, drive, and an unending quest for justice. Her book holds lessons for all of us, but especially for those who cannot at times see the way forward. Ms. Stein shows us in so many ways how we can cut through immense difficulties and move on, and in doing that she has done us all a favor. Get the book and you’ll see what I mean.”
—U.S. Ambassador Johnny Young (Ret.) Sierra Leone, Togo, Bahrain and Slovenia