Books about Thanet, Japan, East Prussia and more

Skating at the Edge of the Wood

Memories of East Prussia, 1931-1945... 1993

by Marlene Yeo

Cover image

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.


Fifty years later, the advent of perestroika allows Marlene and Jutta to meet again, after a lifetime of growing up under diametrically opposed societies, and Marlene revisits her childhood home. The book closes with a final chapter revealing what she finds.

 

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.


 

Published 8 March 2015
ISBN 978-0-9931587-2-8
Pages 152
Format Royal Octavo paperback
Price £8.99 / $14.99 / €12.99

 

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 your local 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 Marlene's trek - http://j.mp/MarleneTrek
  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 Mickelau
  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/Mickelau. 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 Marlene'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 = Mickelau) 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. Skating at the Edge of the Wood - http://j.mp/SkatingYeo - 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)