Books about East Kent, East Asia, East Prussia and more

Reflections in an Oval Mirror

Memories of East Prussia, 1923-45

by Anneli Jones

8th May 1945 - VE Day - was Anneliese Wiemer's twenty-second birthday. Although she did not know it then, it marked the end of her flight to the West, and the start of a new life in England.

These illustrated memoirs, based on a diary kept during the Third Reich and letters rediscovered many decades later, depict the momentous changes occurring in Europe against a back-cloth of everyday farm life in East Prussia (now the north-western corner of Russia, sandwiched between Lithuania and Poland).

The political developments of the 1930s (including the Hitler Youth, 'Kristallnacht', political education, labour service, war service, and interrogation) are all the more poignant for being told from the viewpoint of a romantic young girl. In lighter moments she also describes student life in Vienna and Prague, and her friendship with Belgian and Soviet prisoners of war. Finally, however, the approach of the Red Army forces her to abandon her home and flee, encountering en route a cross-section of society ranging from a 'lady of the manor', worried about her family silver, to some concentration camp inmates.


 

Published 8 May 2008
ISBN 978-0-9559219-0-2
Pages 201
Format Royal Octavo paperback
Price £9.99 / $19.99 / €12.99

 

Review (in German, with an English machine translation) in the Angerapper Heimatbrief [PDF]

 

Available from all good booksellers or directly from:

Ozaru Books

Street Acre

St Nicholas-at-Wade

BIRCHINGTON

CT7 0NG

U.K.

Tel: +44 1843 847701

 

Buy from Amazon (the link will automatically select the nearest one to you)


Some links for those seeking more information on the topics and locations mentioned in this book:

  1. Google Map of Anneli's trek - http://j.mp/AnneliTrek
  2. Prussian/German/Russian placenames: gov.genealogy.net and kalte-heimat.de
  3. Grieben / Olyokhovo / Олёхово in German Wikipedia (linked to Russian versions etc.) - where the Mukhina family live, now the closest settlement to Mikalbude
  4. Russian maps of Germany throughout history - particularly good views of the changing Eastern Front, 1941-44
  5. Russian maps of Kaliningradskaya Oblast - the top map is quite low resolution, but the 'interactive map' linked further down the page is high definition (although the interface is rather awkward)
  6. Russian map of Kaliningradskaya Oblast - direct link to the portion of the 'interactive map' above that shows Suchkovo/Mikalbude. See also below.
  7. Soviet map of Kalinigradskaya Oblast - from 1990. Download the whole map, or choose a town from the list below (e.g. "Ozersk") and zoom in.
  8. Large Soviet map of area around Suchkovo - direct link to detailed map (to find Anneli's childhood home, look for the 54°20' Polish/CCCP border at the right edge, then head west just above the 28' line to find the Олёхово (Olyokovo) settlement and then Сучково (Suchkovo = Mikalbude) just to its eastern side.
  9. Evacuation of East Prussia - Wikipedia
  10. Eastern Front (World War I) - Wikipedia
  11. Eastern Front (World War II) - Wikipedia
  12. Further reading on East Prussia (UK) - a list on Amazon UK list of selected / suggested books as in the bibliography, both in English and German
  13. Further reading on East Prussa (international) - a 'geo-targeted' list of general books relating to East Prussia on your local Amazon site (including the UK but also US, DE, FR, etc.)
  14. The number of websites relating to East Prussian history & culture — such as www.ostpreussen.de (in German) or www.exulanten.com (in English) — appears to be increasing, but many of the websites, books, videos and the organizations behind them appear to have a strong right-wing bias (e.g. highlighting Soviet atrocities and German suffering only), so they should be viewed with great caution - hence we have not (yet) included any live links.
  15. Reflections in an Oval Mirror - http://j.mp/OvalMirror - a short link to this current page, in case you want to share it (but you can also use the widget at the top of the page)