Sunday, May 8, 2011

Five Generations of Daughters of East Prussia on Mother's Day

As I celebrate this Mother's Day I am thinking of the generations before me, my ancestral family of women from East Prussia. What a span of lifetimes!  How did they live?  I know they were all engaged in taking care of the home and the workings of the estate. They rode horses and had a deep relationship to nature. Mostly though, I think they loved their children - each woman in her own way, to the best of her ability.

My great-great grandmother Coelestine Baroness von Schenk zu Tautenburg-1821-1891

My great grandmother Magdalena von Sanden.
I'm told she was a spiritual woman with a  keen psychic ability - a healer in her own way.
I feel very close to her even though I never knew her personally.

My grandmother Edith von Sanden.
She achieved great fulfillment in  the arts, in painting and sculpting.

Owanta Gottlieb von Sanden.
She was zoologist but much more than that – she was my mother.
An extraordinary woman, she worked beside my father in the Bahamas as a midwife and nurse.
She tilled the Bahamian soil like a farmer. digging and sweating and planting.
There wasn't an animal she didn't admire.
The list of her accomplishments and gifts is long.
She wrote a book called Angel Stand by Me/Engel Steh mir Bei
She wasn't always easy as a mother - I had a lot to live up to and she could be tough but she was loving.
I'm grateful for the gifts and wisdom she passed on to me through her being
 and the long line of strong women before her.

So here I am -  the last of the daughters in this line.
By the way, this photo was taken just a few years ago, near my grandfather's estate Guja, formerly in East Prussia but now Poland.

And this is my family.

Jamie Sarles, my amazing husband and me.

My son Nikolai Sanden Sarles.
For the moment the generations stop here but I can hardly wait to meet the next.

And so with the words of Joseph Campbell, I end this post on Mother's Day.

When it's all love,
all must be love.
Nothing must interfere:
love conquers all.

(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. What a beautiful Mother's Day post, and how wonderful to see these photos of your maternal line ... thank you!

  2. I'm very glad to have found your site. I'm very interested in East Prussia and especially the East Prussian horses