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Freeing Rapunzel:
Finding Peace After Trauma In A Divided Homeland
A memoir of a Berlin girlhood in the shadow of a family’s dark past and her courage to thrive anew.

It is summer 1966 in West-Berlin, five years after the wall had been erected, when Anne is born. Her parents raise her in the National Socialistic tradition, where discipline and obedience are key and women are submissive to men. The poisonous atmosphere at home urges her into a fantasy world. When she gets older, Anne begins to see glimmers into the truth of the past and gains in knowledge about the second world war, sees hints of her father’s involvement in it and gets a better understanding of the war’s consequences in her environment. The situation at home becomes more unbearable as Anne gains maturity. She knows that to be whole, she must escape; and after almost giving up on herself, decides to free herself, even if that means stepping into the unknown.

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Book Trailer, Credits: Red Penguin Books

Trans-Generational Trauma
This book reveals the consequences family secrets have on each family member. It becomes clear that by hiding past experiences, trauma is transferred to the next generation. But the story also explores the deeper issues women of all ages and cultures face: affirming their self-worth, purpose and becoming resilient.
More about the book

S02 E06 – Freeing Rapunzel: Toni and Lisa interview author, Anne-Christine Witzgall, who was raised in an abusive home
Podcast: Here’s Your Red Flag

Freeing Rapunzel: Anne Witzgall On How Trans-Generational Trauma Can Be Holding You Back From Living Your Best Life
Article by Lewis Schenk
Mentors Collective

How to Write a Difficult Memoir: Freeing Rapunzel by Anne-Christine Witzgall

A. B.

I loved reading this memoir. It was heartfelt and wonderfully written. The author did a fantastic job of bringing to life the plight of living in such an intense environment.
Once I started it, I could not put it down.

About Anne Christine Witzgall

Anne-Christine Witzgall was born in West Berlin, five years after the wall had been erected that separated West Germany from East Germany. Growing up, she realized that the abuse within her family echoed the abuse one nation, Germany inflicted on a continent – indeed, on the world. From an early age, she tried to understand the shadows of her past, what had led to the Third Reich and as a consequence the Holocaust, and became aware of the trauma that was transferred to her and her generation.

In 2005, she immigrated with her family to the US. She recently became a Life Coach specialist ( and teaches German at an international public charter school in Los Angeles that she co-founded. She loves to write and got a certificate in writing from UCLA Extension in 2021. She holds a master’s in Journalism and a minor in Psychology and Sociology from the Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich.

Freeing Rapunzel (Red Penguin Books) is Anne’s first book. Her memoir is about how she escaped the shadows of her family’s Nazi past during the cold war era in West Berlin, Germany.

Interview with Anne by Stephanie Larkin, Red Penguin Books

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We are very honored and grateful that Freeing Rapunzel is part of the Simon Wiesenthal Library collection at the Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles.