Sun City West, AZ, October 12, 2012 --(PR.com
)-- Colorado author Carol Strazer stumbled upon an amazing and little-known episode from World War II during a casual conversation with a friend. The woman recalled fleeing Germany with her mother and young siblings, one step ahead of the invading Russian army. With nowhere else to turn, the woman’s mother had braved the bombs falling on Danzig, Germany en route to one of the disease-infested ships bound for refugee camps in Denmark. Upon arriving in their host country, though, the family discovered the Danes had only opened the camps to appease the occupying German army and held no sympathy for the refugees. This woman’s stories of her family’s subsequent mistreatment in the camps captured Strazer’s imagination. She dove into research believing that now, after all these decades, readers were ready to embrace a sympathetic story about German suffering during the war.
“I was absolutely captivated by this woman’s story. I’d heard, of course, of so many atrocities that took place during that horrible war, but it never occurred to me to wonder what happened to the Germans when the war ended,” Strazer says.
What happened was stunning. When the Allies signed the Yalta and Potsdam Treaties toward the end of the war, they agreed to the expulsion of ethnic Germans. An estimated 10-12 million Germans were eventually forced from their homes in the “recovered territories” of Prussia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary. Many citizens - mostly mothers with small children - were so terrified by rumors of Russian and Polish abuse of German civilians, that they grabbed a suitcase full of clothes and fled for the only safe haven available, the camps in Denmark. Little did they know that life in the refugee camps would bring its own horrors. Families faced squalid conditions, meager rations, rampant disease, Danish hostility and more. An estimated 10,000 civilians died in the camps. “Children under the age of two were the most vulnerable,” Strazer says.
In Strazer’s novel, Barbed Wire and Daisies, Marike Wiens, a young mother of four, struggles to keep her family alive through three years in the camps strengthened only by her Mennonite faith and her desire to reunite with her missing husband. “It’s my hope that this book will be a page-turning read, but also a chance to honor the memory of innocent people who not only suffered terribly during the war, but whose suffering was set aside by history,” Strazer says.
Strazer is a freelance writer who has published numerous articles and essays. This is her first novel.
Barbed Wire and Daisies is available for order through any bookstore and most online outlets including Amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com and itunes.apple.com/us/book/isbn9780578110509 or at www.outskirtspress.com/barbedwireanddaisies Cover image available upon request.
Contact the author:
Carol Strazer (503)502-4574
Format: 6 x 9 paperback ISBN: 978-1-4327-9380-7 SRP: $15.95
e-Book $5.00 iPad: $4.99 Nook $4.99 Kindle $4.99
Genre: Fiction/historical/war and military
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