German refugees after the war

New Books, New Stories

Sachbuch historische Romane schreiben
For Newbies of Historical Fiction

Corona doesn’t leave us alone, so I’ve been using the time to translate a couple of books into German and to write a “how to” about developing historical novels. We did attempt to go on one vacation on Kos, Greece, but the restrictions were so severe that it was neither very relaxing nor enjoyable. Sadly, Germany has been hard hit by floods and many people are suffering.

New WWII Novel Coming

refugee trek 1945 Europe
Courtesy of Fotothek, refugees fleeing from Russian occupation

Over the past few years I’ve written and published several WWII stories and I thought I’d have one more in me. So, I set out to investigate an event that happened toward the end of the war in the Eastern parts of Germany. At that time, the Russian Army was rapidly advancing west and threatening to cross the borders into Silesia and Eastern Prussia. They made several attempts and by January 1945 they amassed three armies along the borders. Attack was eminent, the German Wehrmacht at its end and unable to keep out such powerful forces.

One of the Largest Forced Migrations in History

Around January 20, the population of Eastern Prussia was warned that they needed to leave and leave quickly. Within hours, thousands of women and children began the trek west…away from the threat of Russian soldiers who had a reputation of violating women and often killing them. As the Red Army closed in, the mass escape grew to unmanageable size. Most refugees tried to get away via Königsberg and Pillau and then on a ship. Except there weren’t enough ships and the threat on water was real.

Courtesy of Fotothek, one of thousands of refugee treks

The exodus from the west continued until the end of the war. At that point many of the people who, if they’d survived, were shoved into camps and/or forced to move in with the already depleted and starving West German population. In the summer of 1945, Stalin took it upon himself to annex Eastern Prussia, take most of it for Russia and a smaller portion to Poland. All remaining Germans left in Russia, Silesia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Eastern and Western Prussia were forced to leave. In many cases they were given hours to pack a suitcase and leave their homes-as it turns out, forever.

10-14 Million people were forced to migrate west, many died on the way of cold, hunger and exhaustion. The rest began a life, they had never dreamed of…far from home and all they knew, without an identity, and often met with hostility.

Inspired by these true events, I decided to write a historic novel which will be published in October 2021. The new cover is coming soon!