- Paperback: 266 pages
- Publisher: Pannonia Press (May 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0965779319
- ISBN-13: 978-0965779319
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #815,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Barefoot in the Rubble Paperback – May 1, 2000
"Hitler's Forgotten Children" by Ingrid von Oelhafen
The Lebensborn program abducted as many as half a million children from across Europe. Through a process called Germanization, they were to become the next generation of the Aryan master race in the second phase of the Final Solution. Hitler's Forgotten Children is both a harrowing personal memoir and a devastating investigation into the awful crimes and monstrous scope of the Lebensborn program. Learn more | See related books
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More About the Author
Growing up I dreamed of illustrating books, not writing them. Drawing was my favorite thing to do. But I had no art supplies in the concentration camp. A twig was my pencil, and the ground was my paper.
I was born in the town of Karlsdorf, Yugoslavia, and in1945, when I was four years old, the Communist government of Marshal Tito declared me an enemy of the state. My family were Donauschwaben--ethnic Germans. Our people had been living peacefully in the Baltic countries for generations. Though we had no part in the war, we were branded Nazis all the same. My mother, brother and I, along with the old people and young children of our town, were put into concentration camp. My father and the other able bodied men and women were hauled off to Russia to slave in the mines.
What most people do not know is that this was happening in every Communist town where Donauschwaben lived. It was happening in the years after World War II.
We spent nearly three years in the camp, my mother trying to keep my brother and me alive on tiny rations of watery pea soup, trying to keep us clean without soap, nursing us without medicine. One night, we escaped with a group of fellow prisoners. It was not the first time we had tried, but this time we were successful. We fled on foot across Hungary and half way across Austria, scaled a mountain range, and reached the American Zone.
We had not known whether my father was alive or dead, but in bombed out Munich we were finally reunited with him. Several years later, when I was almost ten, my family came to the United States and started our new life in Chicago.
By now I had everything I needed to create pictures on paper. Finally, I could become an artist--and I did. But the memories of those years we spent in the camps never faded. More than 15 million ethnic Germans had suffered atrociously at the hands of the communists. Millions died. There was a story that needed to be told to the world, and none of the art I created could tell it. That is why I wrote BAREFOOT IN THE RUBBLE.
Since the publication of the book, I have received many honors and awards. I was named Woman of the Year by the American Legion Auxiliary, and I have been an Illinois author of the month. My book has been displayed in the Senate Russel Rotunda in Washington, DC.I have spoken to dozens of professional groups and at universities in the U.S. and Europe, and shared my story with hundreds of school children. No way could I have predicted the incredible journey that book has taken me on, across the country and across the world.
And that raggedy, starving child with a stick for a pencil? She still lives within me.
Elizabeth B. Walter
Top Customer Reviews
And so begins this shocking story of concentration camps, starvation and death - all taking place as World War II was ending - and when these atrocities were supposed to have ended. It's the story of the Expulsion, a period of time after WWII when Tito came to power in the then country of Yugoslavia, and proceeded to kill over half a million* Danube Swabians (ethnic Germans). Hundreds of thousands of ethnic Germans were killed by Tito's forces and thousands of others were locked in concentration camps and starved. Their only crime? They were German.
This story is told through the eyes of a child. The author, Elizabeth Walters, was only 4 years old when these events began. After 3 years, her family eventually escaped the camps and they walked by foot across Hungary and halfway across Austria. They scaled a mountain range to reach safety in the American Zone.
Most of the Western Media, and even our history books have neglected this horrific time in history, and some officials even deny that the action against Yugoslavian citizens of German nationality ever took place.
That's why the book, Barefoot in the Rubble, by Elizabeth Walters is so important. She dares to speak the truth about a period of history that remains largely unknown. Ethnic Cleansing is not limited to one country, or one time period in history. For centuries this has been going on and continues even to this day. This is a story that must be heard.
Source: *"Nemesis at Potsdam" - Alfred M. de Zayas
Most Recent Customer Reviews
More people need to know this part of history. As in every war, the victor gets to tell the story. But not one (non-German) person I know had ever heard anything about this. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Herb R
This story needs to be told, and is not well known. This author is one of few who can tell it, and she does it well, up to a point. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Rowena Ravenscroft
Oh my, this is an excellent book. I am on the last chapter and as with the rest of the books about the Danube Swabians I will be sad to be done with it. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Katherine A. Bailey
The author was a young girl during the end of WWII when the Communists brutally killed and stole everything from the German nationals who had lived for generations in the Banat... Read morePublished on January 30, 2013 by Marie
Finally some history about a sad,little known but significant part of world history.The author gives her family history intertwined with events that changed the lives of millions... Read morePublished on November 7, 2012 by matt
[[ASIN:0965779319 Barefoot in the Rubble] My wife is of the same age as the author and she lived in the neighboring village of Gloganja. Read morePublished on November 6, 2012 by Frank
Ms Walter has written an uplifting and compelling book about ethnic Germans in WWII Yugoslavia. I bought the book because my father was a refugee to America from post WWII... Read morePublished on August 5, 2008 by Refugees' Daughter
Elizabeth Walter has recalled her ordeals in Tito's concentration camps with a child's eye, but a woman's heart. Read morePublished on August 16, 2006 by Katherine Flotz
Reading this book was a learning experience, a part of WW11 that I was not aware of. I am glad that I had the opportunity to both learn and enjoy.Published on March 22, 2006 by Jacqueline A. Harrington