East of the Oder

East of the Oder : A German Childhood under the Nazis and Soviets

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Luise Urban was born in 1933 into a world about to be turned upside down. Her family lived east of the river Oder. Crucially, her family were not Nazi Party members and suffered as a result. As the Third Reich crumbled and the Red Army advanced, she was one of 15 million Germans trapped in a war zone during the terrible winter of 1945. Weakened by starvation and forced to flee their home, it was only the bravery of Luise's mother that saved the family from total destruction.
The Oder-Neisse line (Oder-Neisse-Grenze) is the German-Polish border drawn in the aftermath of the war. The line primarily follows the Oder and Neisse rivers to the Baltic Sea west of the city of Stettin. All pre-war German territory east of the line and within the 1937 German boundaries was discussed at the Potsdam Conference (July-August 1945). Germany was to lose 25% of her territory under the agreement. Crucially, some might say (including most certainly Luise Urban) callously, Stalin, Churchill and Truman also agreed to the expulsion of the German population beyond the new eastern borders. This meant that almost all of the native German population was killed, fled or was driven out by force.
In East of the Oder, Luise relives that harrowing time, written in memory of her mother, to whom she owes her life. It is the story of a child, but it is not a story for children.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 164 x 232 x 30mm | 559.99g
  • Stroud, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 25 Illustrations, black and white
  • 0752491032
  • 9780752491035
  • 2,306,974

About Luise Urban

LUISE URBAN was born in October 1933. She and her family, who were not Party members, first endured the inhumanity of the Nazi regime and then were trapped as the Soviet Army advanced in 1945, suffering starvation and other, almost inconceivable hardships. In East Germany under communist rule, Luise's mother decided to take the risk of crossing the border with her remaining three children, having previously lost one to starvation. As in so many situations before, her daring and her intelligence won through. People had seen some individuals make it to the West - but they were amazed to see a woman and three children walk into their little railway station. Luise moved to England in 1956 and became a State Registered Nurse. She later became the manager of three care homes and took an Open University degree in Physics and Astronomy. This book is written in memory of her mother. Luise lives in Gwynedd, Wales.
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