Thursday, March 3, 2011

Why I Tell the Story of the East Prussians...

 This is photograph of me standing beside
 a giant, age-old tree in Guja, Poland, formerly East Prussia.

     As I stood by that tree, I remember feeling the old world in its trunk, hearing the roots and the hidden sap whispering stories about my forefathers who had lived on the land for generations. All I could do was be still and listen.

    The other day a friend asked me why I chose to write The Last Daughter of Prussia

    Actually, I think the book chose me. Or more likely it was those spirits, now long dead, who wanted their story told and who, while they were living, never dared to speak about their own plight because they were German. 

    How could they? In light of all the atrocities committed by Germans, they had no right to tell their grief-filled story. For years, the word "German" elicited images of black-booted Nazis, swastikas and concentration camps. But the times are changing. Consciousness is breathing us and with the breath of consciousness comes compassion. The world is calling out for healing, and although we must NEVER forget what happened in the holocaust I don't think there can ever be peace until all the suffering is named, until all the broken souls are held and able to tell their side of the story.

Another tree in Guja, before the fighting began.
    You may ask why I have a right to speak about these things. Perhaps, I don't. Still, as the grand-daughter of two broken souls who were forced to flee their land in East Prussia, on a trek that claimed the lives of some two million people and left an even a greater number of women and children raped and bleeding in the snow, I need to say that I felt compelled to write their story. Not as a documentary, but as a novel so that readers would come to know the real -life characters who fought so hard to survive in the omnipresent face of death.

-Marina Gottlieb Sarles

(c) All content and photos are the private property of the Gottlieb family, unless otherwise stated or linked,  and may not be used without permission.
(c) Privatbesitz Gottlieb Familie

1 comment:

  1. You are truly an Olympian of self-expression Mrs. Gottlieb-Sarles. I wish to commend you on being so loyal to who you are and the legacy of your ancestry. Continue to appear and perform at your peak! Humanity across the globe is naturally engineered to survive and thrive with strength, beauty, knowledge, sophistication and wealth! Congratulations! :-)