Otto Berliner, ASC professor of psychology emeritus, who escaped the Nazis in his native Hungary during World War II, has written a historical novel that has premiered to terrific reviews. In fact, the book was selected, by the entire editorial review staff of New Book Reviews (NBR), as the winner of NBR.org's Best Historical Fiction Book of 2007 Literary Award. The book was published through the BookSurge division of Amazon.com.
The book, The Cobbler of Normandy, follows the actions of five characters during the resistance in France during WWII, who gathered information for the Allies in Occupied France. Although the book is not an autobiographical novel, Berliner uses his own experiences as an information courier during Nazi occupation in Hungary as the genesis of his novel. He also conducted extensive research to complete the book.
Born in Budapest, Hungary, Berliner graduated from the Madach Gymnasium in Budapest. In 1944 the Germans split Berliner's family, taking his father to a work camp, and sending Berliner and his mother to live with another family. Eventually, Berliner, too, was taken to a location where he was made to perform hard physical labor. When an opportunity to escape presented itself, Berliner took it, contacting a friend who set Berliner and his mother up in a safehouse; he worked as a courier throughout the rest of the war. In 1949, the Berliners emigrated to the United States.
Berliner earned degrees in psychology and counseling at New York University, the University of Rochester, and SUNY Buffalo, hiring on as an assistant professor of psychology at Alfred State College in 1965, where he remained until his retirement in 2002.He and his late wife Hedy, a Holocaust survivor, are the parents of one son, Steven Berliner, MD, and one daughter, Karen Pecoraro. He and his current wife Joyce live in Alfred.