Books by Violet Kochendoerfer

Kochendoerfer's book about her wartime experiences, One Woman's World War II, was published by the University of Kentucky Press in 1994 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of D-Day. In a second book, A Modern Pioneer: One Woman's Ministry (Skinner House Press, Boston), Kochendoerfer describes her years in the ministry. A recently published third book, Santa Fe in the Fifties, (Western Edge Press, Santa Fe) is about the rapidly changing Southwest.

The U.S. 82nd soon discovered and liberated a concentration camp outside of Ludwigslust. Kochendoerfer and others worked frantically to set up a soup kitchen and feed some of the area's thousands of displaced persons until a more established relief effort could be organized.

From there, she moved on to Berlin, where she was invited to dinner with General Dwight D. Eisenhower. She stayed with the Red Cross in Germany during part of the allied occupation, attending the war crime trials in Nuremberg, and left Europe in September 1947.

Back in the United States, Kochendoerfer moved to Santa Fe, and later to Berkeley. She was the first woman to graduate from the Starr King School for the Ministry as a Unitarian minister; over the next 15 years, she had ministries all over North America.

"I never made much money in anything I did," she says, "But if you aren't happy, you should get out and do something that makes you happy. One's lifetime is so brief, and there are so many possibilities."

Sonya Bruce is a freelance writer in Portland. This is her first article for Reed.

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