Recently I had the opportunity to guest post at my co-author’s website, regarding her World War II Memoir “Don’t Say Anything to Anybody.” Here’s an excerpt and link to read the full piece:
As Americans, we are familiar with what happened at the southern and western fronts, because that’s where U.S. forces were. As school kids, we learn about Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge, but we hear very little about what happened in northern and eastern Germany, Poland, and Russia.
In high school, we all read the Diary of a Young Girl and The Hiding Place, and we watch Schindler’s List. Most of the narratives are focused on the Jewish experience or the experience of people who helped Jews and other minorities. So, both geographically and culturally, our understanding of that war is limited.
Today, through some intriguing fictional works (i.e. The Book Thief, Children and Fire, All the Light we Cannot See), we’re just starting to hear a little more about the German civilian experience of WWII.
Clearly, there are some rarely heard stories here.
WWII displaced over 50 million people globally.(1) 11 to 14 million of the refugees were German.(2, 3) Of that number, over 1 million were from Pomerania, an eastern German region that was transferred in part to Poland in accordance with the Potsdam Agreement.(4) Many of these Pomeranian refugees were ethnically German, from rural villages and farming communities.
In Brigitte’s case, her foster family listened to the radio during the war, horrified at the government’s actions, but essentially powerless to effect any change. They had a family member who had been sent to a work camp solely for… (READ FULL)