Skating at the Edge of the Wood
Memories of East Prussia, 1931-1945... 1993
by Marlene Yeo
In 1944, the thirteen-year old author has to flee her home in East Prussia and embark on a horrific trek to the West, avoiding the Red Army's ethnic cleansing. She leaves behind many happy memories, but also a best friend: her cousin Jutta, caught behind the Iron Curtain. The letters they exchange at that time, amplified by postwar comments, cast light on the experience of ordinary German farmers caught up in the horrendous circumstances and aftermath of the Second World War's Eastern Front.
Despite depicting the same time and circumstances as Reflections in an Oval Mirror, an account written by Marlene's elder sister, Anneli, and its sequel Carpe Diem, this work stands in stark contrast partly owing to the age gap between the two girls, but above all because of their dramatically different characters.
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