Eine Jugend in Pommern
First day of sale: 13.01.2016
VON ORT ZU ORT. STATIONEN EINER JUGEND/
FROM PLACE TO PLACE. A CHILDHOOD IN POMERANIA
Memories of a lost world
Pomerania, the “land by the sea,” has not existed since the end of World War II. Maria Wellershoff grew up there on the country estates at Trieglaff and Vahnerow which belonged for generations to the family of her father Adolf von Thadden. With a nimble hand and a wonderfully urgent language, the author introduces us to her childhood and adolescence in a world that is hardly imaginable today. ‘From Place to Place’ is not a sentimental, mushy memoir, but a thrilling glance at the everyday life of an aristocratic family at the time before and during World War II.
Pomerania was wholly a part of Germany at that time; the place names were in German and the manors at Trieglaff and Vahnerow where Maria von Thadden grew up belonged to the widely ramified aristocratic family for generations.
This part of Germany no longer existed after World War II, which is why the stories from a childhood and youth in East Pomerania now sound like reports from the distant past. Maria Wellershoff-von Thadden tells of the villages and manor houses in enormous parks, of parents, siblings, relatives and friends, of animals, parties and hunts, of the Pomeranian landscape and holidays on the Baltic Sea. Even as a school-girl, National Socialism increasingly entered all aspects of life, and aside from the economic conditions and social structures, political events also play a crucial role in her story. Elisabeth, her half sister from the first marriage of the father, Adolf von Thadden, is executed by the Nazis in 1944.
Maria was already studying art history in Prague by this time. She returns to the “Reich” shortly before the end of the war. She is taken prisoner together with her brother Ado by the Americans and ends up after many adventures in Göttingen where most of her family members also arrive. And they become aware that their home in Pomerania is lost forever.
The “end of everything” means a new beginning for Maria. She continued her studies at the University of Göttingen that were interrupted by the war.
“The future requires memory” – Maria Wellershoff-von Thadden revives a lost world under this motto and tells about her life in sunken world that now seems unimaginable. It is only the story of a family, only a personal recollection, and yet it is an important part of our past.
Maria Wellershoff was born in 1922 as the eldest daughter from the second marriage of her father Adolf von Thadden with Barbara Blank. She spent her childhood and youth at the Pomeranian family estates at Trieglaff and Vahnerow. She completed her school-leaving certificate in 1941 in Berlin and studied art history, archeology and history.
The art historian, mother of three children, worked as an editor, as a “sales assistant with Ph.D.” as she described herself, in a gallery, as a freelance copyreader and as a research assistant at the Römisch-Germanisches Museum in Cologne.
She is married to the author Dieter Wellershoff and lives with her husband in Cologne.
Maria Wellershoff wurde 1922 als Tochter von Adolf von Thadden und Barbara Blank geboren. 1941 machte sie Abitur in Berlin und studierte Kunstgeschichte, Archäologie und Geschichte. Die Mutter dreier Kinder arbeitete als Redakteurin, als freie Lektorin und im Römisch-Germanischen Museum in Köln. Sie ist verheiratet mit dem Schriftsteller Dieter Wellershoff und lebt in Köln.