A black and white image of a man standing next to a woman holding a child and an umbrella.
Hermann with his cousin Ulla and her daughter, Gabriele, at their home in Maida Vale, date unknown, supplied by Tess Scholfield-Peters.

Dear Mutzi by Tess Scholfield-Peters

Harry Peters—formerly Hermann Ludwig Pollnow, known to his family as Mutzi—was born in Berlin in 1920. As a teenager, he fled Nazi Germany and landed in rural Australia. Harry’s parents, Max and Edith, stayed and perished in Nazi camps.

Tess Scholfield-Peters tells her grandfather’s story with three intertwining threads: a sketched-out history based on Harry’s testimony and documentary history; her engagement with this personal history from a third-generation perspective; and the present story of Harry’s growing infirmities and eventual death in early 2021 at age 100.

Through the hybrid narrative non-fiction form, Scholfield-Peters investigates her family history and seeks to share an ethical historical account of Harry’s life. This work necessarily skirts the edges of fiction and non-fiction, as Scholfield-Peters weaves her deep research with Harry’s recollections and imagines the unknown details. Illustrated with photographs taken by Harry himself during his journey to Australia, as well as family photos and official documents from Germany, the book provides a visual and emotional connection to his remarkable story.

This book not only sheds light on the history of forced migration and assimilation but also emphasizes the importance of investigating one's family history and the value of intergenerational relationships. Through Harry’s story, Scholfield-Peters invites readers to reflect on their own personal narratives and the common human experiences that connect us all.

‘A heartfelt and beautifully written homage to Scholfield-Peters’ forebears, who were caught in the 20th century horrors of fascism and anti-semitism, and, in her loving portrait of her grandfather, to the survival of the human spirit. A moving contribution to the literature of the Shoah and its ricochet effect down the generations.' – Anna Funder

Dear Mutzi will be released in June 2024.

About the author 

Tess Scholfield-Peters is a Sydney-Eora based writer and academic. Currently she teaches creative writing at the University of Technology Sydney. Previously Tess worked as senior journalist for the independent community newspaper Urban Village, based out of Sydney’s Surry Hills. Tess’s writing spans the academic and literary fields with a focus on life writing and narrative non-fiction, hybrid literature and memory studies, and her work is featured in significant Australian and international publications. Dear Mutzi is her first book, drawn from her recently completed Doctorate.

Additional Information 

The front cover of the book 'Dear Mutzi'.

Images for media use are available for download via Dropbox.


Mirelle O'Mara, Media Liaison, National Library of Australia

M: 0401 226 697

E: media@nla.gov.au