Not Hitler's Child: Christa-Maria's (Extra)Ordinary Life, Early Childhood to 2000
Christa-Maria Beardsley


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  • ISBN: 978-1-941799-96-3
  • Publication Date: Apr 3, 2018
  • 6" x 9", cloth-bound hardcover with dust jacket, 684 pages
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Not Hitler's Child traces the long, eventful arc of Christa-Maria Beardsley's life – from her childhood in Nazi Germany, where the war forced her family into a life of almost continual displacement, to her immigration to the United States and her two-decade tenure as a professor of German at Indiana University, a career marked by the author's pioneering efforts in the development of study-abroad programs, and finally to her artistically active retirement, during which she played a prominent and passionate role in the classical-music community of Bloomington, Indiana. Ms. Beardsley's guiding concerns – a commitment to education and the arts, an abiding curiosity about the vagaries of human relationships, and an ever-deepening sensitivity to music and the natural world – form the bass line of her life story. By turns celebratory and sorrowful, reflective and humorous, Not Hitler's Child is the record of both a life of the mind and a life fully lived.

About the Author

Christa-Maria Beardsley

Born in 1932 in Hannover, Germany, Christa-Maria Beardsley immigrated to a Michigan farming community in 1954. In 1968, after spending her junior year abroad in Aix-en-Provence, she graduated from Indiana University–Bloomington with a BA in Germanic languages and literature, and she earned a PhD in the same discipline, again at IU–Bloomington, in 1972. She taught at IU–South Bend for the next twenty years, developing several summer programs for overseas study in Germany and publishing two books of literary criticism: E. T. A. Hoffmann: Die Gestalt des Meisters in seinen Märchen (1975) and E. T. A. Hoffmanns Tierfiguren im Kontext der Romantik (1985). Passionate about classical music, Ms. Beardsley moved back to Bloomington in 1995, when she began hosting house concerts that spotlighted performances by students from IU's Jacobs School of Music. Since her retirement, she has traveled extensively around the world, visiting places as far-flung as Antarctica, Mongolia, and the North Pole.

The author is proud to donate all proceeds from the sale of this book to the following charitable organizations.

Doctors Without Borders, in memory of my late, beloved husband, Major Wayne Roscoe Beardsley, MD, and his deceased son, Captain Peter Beardsley, MD.

The Carter Center, also in memory of my late husband.

The Christa-Maria Endowed Scholarship Fund, created by the author, which will provide scholarships annually to college students enrolled in the Vienna music program offered by the Institute for the International Education of Students.