Nightmares of an East Prussian Childhood

A Memoir of the Russian Occupation

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SKU: 9780786473540 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

The mother of 11 year old Ilse Glaus turned down the last plane out of East Prussia ahead of the advancing Russians in order to stay back with her aged parents. That decision cost her family dearly in wartorn Europe, 1945. Ilse grew up on a small farm, with a wonderful family, the woods as a playground and the beaches of the Baltic.
Then turmoil followed the German defeat by the Russians and the subsequent occupation. In 31 months under the Russians, Ilse’s family is driven from their home, she mourns her missing father, witnesses her mother’s rape, sees her grandparents and baby brother succumb to the brutal conditions, and hears of her oldest sister’s capture and death in a work prison. Fighting starvation, Ilse crafts ways to coexist with the Russians, scavenging, begging and stealing to help the family survive.

About the Author(s)

Ilse Stritzke lives in East Troy, Wisconsin.
Bernie Stritzke lives in East Troy, Wisconsin.

Bibliographic Details

Ilse Stritzke with Bernie Stritzke
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 200
Bibliographic Info: 12 photos, appendix, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7354-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0173-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments by Bernie Stritzke vii
Preface by Bernie Stritzke 1
Preface by Ilse Stritzke (née Glaus) 3
Introduction by Bernie Stritzke 5
1. A Mother’s Regret 7
2. The Evacuation 15
3. Back to Palmnicken 30
4. The Second Evacuation 41
5. Omi’s Sacrifice 54
6. Desperate Times 60
7. The Commandant’s Assault 65
8. The Statue 74
9. Attempted Kidnap 80
10. The White Horse 89
11. The First Winter 94
12. Off to Goldbach 100
13. Then, Five Women 110
14. Three Dead Soldiers 115
15. A Stolen Potato 118
16. A Sparrow Falls 126
17. An End in Sight 131
18. The Expulsion 138
19. In Germany 144
20. Mutti’s Meltdown 151
21. Gerd 160
22. The Engagement 164
23. The Voyage 172
24. Chicago 178
Appendix: Maps and a Brief History of the Region 183
Chapter Notes 187
Index 191

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Riveting”—Canadian Slavonic Papers