From Rubble To Champagne:

Rising from the ashes of war-torn Berlin to a life of grace, beauty and gratitude

About the Book

Vivianne Knebel was born illegitimate in 1943 in the epicenter of Nazi power, Berlin, Germany. Her free-spirited and strong-willed mother, Marija, fought to keep her alive among falling bombs and Soviet attacks. After the end of World War II, with much of Berlin razed to the ground, Vivianne came to know poverty and constant hunger. As a teenager, she immigrated to Canada, but in her new homeland, times became so desperate that she had to beg for money to eat. After dropping out of school to find work, Vivianne became the victim of sexual harassment. Spiraling into depression, she attempted to take her life, but was miraculously saved by a six-year-old child.

Falling in love with a fellow German immigrant, Wiland, proved a pivotal turning point for Vivianne. He saw a wellspring of potential in her and believed that she could become more than she had ever imagined. They married and moved to the United States. In the land where so many immigrant dreams are built, Wiland encouraged Vivianne to pursue endeavors that would test her mettle, including piloting a plane, running a marathon, and taking on a key role in supporting his business enterprise. Vivianne’s journey of personal growth later gave her the courage to battle cancer and embrace a spiritual life.

Through hardship, demoralization, yearning, searching, loving, inspiration, and growth, Vivianne has discovered the ultimate secret to a life well lived: a grateful heart.

About the Author

Born an illegitimate child in the wake of WWII in Berlin, Nazi Germany to a single mother, Vivianne Knebel’s options were limited and her future looked bleak. She experienced poverty, cold, and hunger, and was even driven to the point of committing suicide. To seek out a better life, Vivianne immigrated to Canada as a teenager, but her misfortunes did not end there. However, in response to a miraculous intervention, she decided to preserve her life and keep moving forward.

After this incident, Vivianne met a fellow German immigrant, Wiland, who eventually became her husband. But even more than that, he became a catalyst for change in her life. His belief in her is what helped her see the true, immeasurable value of her life. She went on to play a key role in Wiland’s business venture and together they built a better future for each other.

Since then, Vivianne has run a marathon, learned to pilot a plane, and even beat cancer. She’s found a greater sense of spirituality and wants to share her story with the world, to remind people that there is always a reason to keep moving forward.

Qn 1: Can you tell us more about your book What is it about?

My book ” From Rubble To Champagne” is my life and love story. It is partly political and takes the reader back to 1943 Berlin the epicenter of WWII Nazi Germany. It is the story of my lonely childhood in ravaged post-WWII Berlin, to young adulthood as part of a wave of struggling German immigrants in Canada, to marriage, family, and ultimate fulfillment in the United States.
It is a story of triumph over tragedy.

Qn 2: Who do you think would be interested in this book, is it directed at any particular market?

I think it is a journey that people will want to take with me. It lays the groundwork for people to reflect on their own lives. It is full of life’s emotions from heartbreak to joyfulness and peace of mind, with important teachings to work hard, believe that better is coming, and most importantly look for the good in adverse situations. I think it is directed toward self-improvement.

Qn 3: Out of all the books in the world, and all the authors, which are your favourite and why?

I was taken by the love story ” The Notebook by author Nicholas Sparks.

It depicts a moving love story, which reminds me of my own with my husband of 58 years. It is about the facets of love, like nurturing and responsibility, which is the essence of human existence.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by author Harriet Beecher Stowe. This book is about injustice. I love how the author was able to get to the heart of white mothers. It made them think about what it would be like to have their child ripped from their arms and sold into slavery. The author was able to connect with the reader.

Qn 4: What guidance would you offer to someone new, or trying to enhance their writing?

Be open in order not to cheat the reader. Lean into the discomfort. Show vulnerability. Being vulnerable shows courage and connects with your reader.

Qn 5: Where can our readers find out more about you, do you have a website, or a way to be contacted?

My website is: Vivianne

The book has also been turned into a documentary that is going through the film festival circuit now. Please make mention to this. Below I have attached the documentary poster.

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