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El Paso woman who survived war-torn Germany self-publishes third book at 91

EL PASO, Texas -- An El Paso author is printing her third book based on her life in a war-torn Germany and her story of becoming a U.S. citizen.

Every day for almost 70 years, 91-year-old Wally Mayer Cech writes her letters. She filled dozens of notebooks, self-publishing two books with her letters over 50 years ago. She says each page is different.

Cech's books describe her own memories of Hitler and the Nazis marching into her town of Augsburg, Germany upending her life and changing history. In her books she recalls memories varying from the Nazis taking down the cross at her school and replacing it with a picture of Hitler to her first day in New York arriving as a War Bride after WWII.

In 1947, she married an American soldier named John Cech. She began writing during the long nights in 1952 when they were stationed at Fort Bliss.

Cech recalls the first night she picked up a pen and paper to jot down her experiences after the war.

"I was sitting there and I was writing out of misery because I couldn't sleep, it was so hot," Cech remembered. "It came automatically because my memory was fresh and I just came from things. And I figure sooner than later, people gonna hear about it."

But her biggest challenge was writing in English. She only knew a few words in English even after being a year or two in America. Cech asked her late husband John to help her to spell the words but instead he gave her a dictionary. He told her that if she wanted to learn English and write, she needed to start and finish her herself to truly embark on this journey.

After years of translating with her dictionary and reading newspapers to learn English, her first book "Auf Widersehen" was published in 1964. The second, "The Lost Years - Volume II came in 1971". Cech self-published her books in El Paso, TX.

Now over 50 years later, a third book "Auf Widersehen Brings Happiness - Volume III" is being printed Friday, April 23, 2021. Cech's third book is focusing on the journey of earning her citizenship. She calls it a love letter to her adopted country.

Cech says there is nothing that makes her more happy than getting her books as a gift to all Americans. She started writing with the hopes that one day her own children would read these letters. She never had children so these notebooks full of stories and memories are for everyone.

If you would like to buy Cech's first two books or pre-order the latest, you can email Ron & Carrie Webb at or reach them through the phone at (915) 593-1217.

Article Topic Follows: El Paso

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Andrea Vazquez


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