Sunday 6 July 2014


Here are a few sample passages:
  • In 1919 Emil Enns married. He could not take over his parents’ farm because two of his sisters, Liesbeth and Wanda, had not yet been taken care of. He therefore moved into a small property across from the mill and built bee houses, keeping 80 hives. He also planted a mulberry hedge and tried his luck with silk worms.  In addition, he raised chicken. He bought three apparatuses for breeding, heated with petroleum. If requested, he sterilized cocks.
  • Homemade butter and eggs were sold on the market. To cool the supply of butter in the summer, they used blocks of ice cut in the winter from the frozen river Schwente and stored under a layer of straw in the barn.
  • A mother’s letter to her son, a soldier in the German army, 30 August, 1944:[We] were assigned three Jewish workers, certainly the worst of the lot in the whole transport. They did nothing. After two days all three pretended to be sick. It was hard to take. Walter asked me to take them back to Stuttgart, which I did… I hope this terrible war will soon be over.
  • On 24 January, 1945, the inhabitants of Marienau flee from the advancing Russian army. Gerda Esau writes: Only one person remained behind on each farm to look after the animals. In our case, it was Heinrich Schulz. He said good-bye to his wife and eight children, who came along with us…We didn’t wait for the others because it was snowing and the situation was critical. Gustav Philippsen writes:  We waited to be picked up, but no one came. The Russian tanks had reached Elbing. The roads were full of refugees, so we decided to set out with our goods packed in sleds and baby carriages. Gustav Fieguth writes: The commotion was great. The axles of many covered wagons broke, some of them were dashed. A few kilometers behind us the battle was raging. In the early morning of 24 January the Russians came and shot the owner of the milk-processing plant, together with his two sons, and raped his wife. He had stayed behind, thinking the Russians would spare them because he was a Swiss citizen.

The source of these passages is a book, written in German and self-published by Helmut Enss (b. 1921), a German high school teacher, who wanted to document the history of his native village, Marienau.  ANYONE INTERESTED IN TRANSLATING THE BOOK INTO ENGLISH?


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