German Awakening


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A Timely Story of Healing Painful Patterns

Never before had I registered, on an emotional level, all these bridges and valleys, this patchwork of places. There was no common German language among them for seven centuries. How could people communicate if they never spoke face to face?

German Awakening, p. 145

Amy Hallberg

I’m Frau Amy Hallberg and my life forever changed when I became an exchange student in West Germany in 1987.

That might sound ancient or irrelevant, but it’s not. Mine is an eerily resonant story with vital messages for today. My exchange sister, Eva, helped me make sense of her beloved, divided country. Thanks to her, I saw my homeland in a new light.

After Germany’s sudden reunification, I unpacked these lessons for years as a teacher.

My journey showed me the bravery required in extraordinary times. It’s a story of surprising friendship. Of freedom lost and privilege gained at a cost. And literary heroes who shine a light.

Eva remains in my life. I’ve traced our friendship in German Awakening: Tales from an American Life. 

Make no mistake. This book goes far beyond Eva and me.

We Americans can and must find love in the face of division, even and especially when it’s tempting to hide in the shadows.

When I think too hard, I feel scared about what I see happening now. We’ve lived these patterns before. I fear people will say I’m benefitting from past hurt with this book.

I’m tempted to play small. And yet.

I TAKE HEART when I remember that this story was entrusted to me for a purpose. I know people will find courage in its pages.

I’m honoring my heroes who risked far more. My whole life — mein Lebenslauf — led me to release this book now. So here I am (scared but ready) sharing its wisdom, courage, and hope.

You can purchase German Awakening where books are sold. Order directly from me and I’ll sign your copy.

If you’d like to support my book, I’m looking for passionate people to host me on podcasts, interview me for book clubs, invite me to events, and spread the word.

Here’s what this book makes possible:

For every copy of German Awakening I sell, I’ll donate a portion of my proceeds to support the well-being of immigrant children in America.

And on my book tour (2019), I’ll offer workshops for fellow creatives: to connect, to explore our stories, to bridge division through art.

Because we are ALL more than one thing.

And we’re ALL in this together.



January 12: Local Creatives Retreat

Twin Cities, Location TBD. 9:30am -1:30 pm.
Playdate with snacks. $40. Limited to 20 spots.

Sign up now.

How You Can Help


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So well written I had a hard time putting it down. I went through so many emotions. Amy has given the world a wonderful gift.
Sarah B., Working Mom of 3

Sometimes comical, sometimes heartbreaking, Amy Hallberg's passion for language shimmers.
Reverend Susan P. Thomas, ELCA

Charming, zany, delightful, and smart.
Rebecca Tolin, Journalist

The perfect story for right now.
Sarah Bamford Seidelmann, The Book of Beasties
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