Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Alexander Solzehenitsyn on his experence in East Prussa

“I remember myself in my captain’s shoulder straps and the forward march of my battery through East Prussia, enshrouded in fire, and I say: “so were we any better?” In one poem “Prussian Nights”, he wrote:

The little daughters on the mattress,

Dead. How many have been on it?

A platoon, a company perhaps?

A girl’s been turned into a woman,

A woman turned into a corpse.

Alexander Solzehenitsyn

Monday, April 27, 2009

Abandoned and Forgotten on HUNGAR

Author Ellie Wiesel

In his book Night after his father finally died: “I did not weep, and it pained me that I could not weep. But I was out of tears. And deep inside me, if I could have searched the recesses of my feeble conscience, I might have found something like: Free at last! And in spite of myself, a prayer formed inside me, a prayer to this God in whom I no longer believed.”

Friday, April 24, 2009



Believe me, Ben, it is a dangerous trade

The sword has many marred as well as made

By it many do fall – not many rise

Makes many poor, few rich and fewer wise

Fill towns with ruin, fields with blood decide

Tis sloth’s maintainer and the shield of pride

Fair cities rich today in plenty flow

War filled with want tomorrow and with woe

Ruined estates, the nurse of vice

Broken limbs and scars

Are the effects of desolating wars

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Terrible Revenge

In his book A Terrible Revenge

“The disaster that befell this area (East Prussia) with the entry of the Soviet forces has no parallel in modern European experience. There were considerable sections of it where, to judge by all existing evidence, scarcely a man, woman or child of the indigenous population was left alive after the initial passage of Soviet forces and one cannot believe that they all succeeded in fleeing to the West. The Russian swept the native population clean in a manner that had no parallel since the days of the Asiatic hordes.”

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

From a new reader

I just finished reading your book and it is one I won't forget. I cannot say enough about how much the book touched me. I am so glad I had the opportunity to meet you at the Literacy fair in Tucson. Your writing is so skillful and from your heart that I feel I know you. Sorry, when I read a book that moves me this much, I have a hard time letting go. Luckily, I live in Wyoming, so I won't knocking at your door. Thanks again for sharing so much of yourself.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Evelyne interviewed on "Americas Fabric"

Evelyne is interviewed by John McElroy on his Tucson radio program; Americas Fabric. Listen: http://americasfabric.com/images/09-03-22Program64.mp3

Monday, April 20, 2009

Abandoned and Forgotten readers questions for discussion.

Questions for discussion:

1. What do you remember from the WW II years? If you were not yet alive or were too young to remember those years, what do you recall that you were told about that time?

2. How did fairy tales affect your life?

3. As you think back on your own childhood, what is your first real memory? Are you able to separate what you remember from what your parents or others told you about your childhood? Why do you suppose that the author’s memories so vivid in their details?

4. What adjectives would you use to describe the author?

5. What parts of the story do you find most difficult to imagine and why?

6. Why and how do you think it was possible for Hitler control the German people so completely?

7. What insights about the German people did you gain from reading this book?

8. How do you suppose that this story might have been different if the author’s brother Henry had written it?

9. Why do you feel this family drifted apart?

10. How is it possible for one human being to treat another so cruelly, as evidenced in the book? Is hate learned?

11. How did the author’s view of her family change over the course of the story and why?

12. What insights for your own life did you take away from reading this book?

Friday, April 17, 2009

"The Book" by Douglas Brough

Abandoned and Forgotten: Reviewed by Douglas Brough
www.laurahird.com, www.germanworldalliance.org, UK press

“One spends a lifetime waiting for ‘the book’ and then along comes a story so full of personal emotion and courageous honesty that it becomes a privilege to read. This, is that book. It took courage to address her past and open her life to public scrutiny and write of her life as an orphan of the Second World War. I offer a debt of gratitude for the privilege of reviewing her story; a story that I hope goes some way towards reconciliation between former enemies; a story so full of emotion that as she finally left her childhood roots after her visit, she decided was a chapter in her life that needed closing.

And then, Evelyne wrote the book, and the rest, as they say, is history………”

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Wolf children (German: Wolfskinder) was the name given to a group of orphaned German children at the end of World War II in East Prussia. The story of one survivor can be read in “ABANDONED AND FORGOTTEN: An Orphan Girl's Tale of Survival in World War II by Evelyne Tannehill”

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Where in the world is HRASTOVAC??

From: "Rosina Schmidt"
Subject: [BANAT-L] Book "Abandoned and Forgotten" by Evelyne Tannehill

Hello Donauschwaben;

Evelyne Tannehill's book "Abandoned and Forgotten, An Orphan Girl's Tale of Survival During World War II' deals with many of those questions we have been discussing in the recent weeks. It is the best book written in English I have read so far on that topic and I warmly recommend it to anyone curious enough to have an insider 'window opening' into that part of history.

The first part of the setting was in East Prussia, but it could have been anywhere in the DS lands.

ISBN-13: 978-1-58736-693-2 published in 2006. Hopefully most of the libraries have it.


From the Danube Swabian village of HRASTOVAC, also known under its German name of EICHENDORF

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Readers Response

Dearest Dearest Evelyne,

I just finished reading your book. I took my time in reading every word that you had so beautifully written and so painfully remembered in order to make this masterpiece. Your book is so powerful and very very moving.

I have visited Germany and Poland and stood before some of the buildings that are scarred from the war and wondered with a heavy heart how the people in that area survived from day to day. The immense fear, the horrific losses, and the feeling of helplessness one must have felt. I shudder to think that you had to endure so much pain in your life as a little girl growing up in that terrible time. Not knowing if you or yours would see the light of day without the hunger pains, and the daily intrusions from the Russian soldiers as they entered your domain that was to keep you safe.

As I read the book, I cried with you, and for you. I prayed as I read that you would never ever have to endure such pain again in any lifetime. Through your wonderful writing, I was enabled to experience your every waking thought, the searing heartache that you felt. Even the stinging from your tears on my own cheeks.

As I read the final page, closed the book, and held it in my hands, the tears just started falling again.

I felt your sadness, I felt your happiness, and I felt your successes. There is not a day that has gone by since meeting you that I have not thought about you. I pray for you every night that your pain will ease and that you may never have to want for anything ever again.

With the warmest regards and best wishes,

Monday, April 13, 2009

Abberation Nation Interview

Please see my recent interview with Aberration nation. I think you will like it or at least learn a bit about my story. For example:

So many of us choose to focus on the negatives in our lives although there are positives all around us. As a child, you were stripped of the freedom, love, and security many of us take for granted. Can you give us an idea of what your childhood was like, and why it was unique?

My childhood ended when within a period of six months I lost all that constituted my secure world. I lost my father, mother, sister, two bothers, two dear aunts, my physical home, my cat, my dog, and my precious doll which I had just received for my 9th birthday. Even my native language was taken away from me - I had to learn Polish to survive. This occurred the beginning of 1945 when Germany was losing WWII and the Russian Red Army was fighting its way toward victory in Berlin.

Even growing up as a young girl during war time in Germany (while my family was still intact), my childhood certainly wasn't normal as compared to growing up in the US, for example. But it appeared normal to me. Watching the fathers, older brothers, and uncles of all my friends being put into uniform and sent off to the various fronts seemed normal. Even their not returning, or returning with an arm, a leg, or an eye missing, seemed normal at the time. What bothered me most was that my father, the foreigner, (as our neighbors referred to him) was an aberration. (He was a naturalized American citizen.) Upon reflection, I realize that as children we very much wanted to belong, even in the negative sense.

Have a look: http://penelopeprzekop.blogspot.com/search?q=tannehill