life stories

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Wo gehst du, Mariechen?

At the age of 105 Marie Olschewski is looking back on her life. Born in 1897 it spans across an entire century – the 20th century that has challenged her with two wars, three flights and the loss of her home. All the more moving to see how the farmer’s wife and mother of nine masters everyday life. With her detailed descriptions and gentle tone Marie Olschewski revives a now sunken world – Masuria.

Ruth Damwerth: „Wo gehst du, Mariechen?“ The story of the Masurian farmer’s wife Marie Olschewski and her country. 2., supplemented edition with photographs
ISBN: 3-937772-32-5; paperback 148 pages, 12,90 Euro

“Only during the nights between Christmas and Epiphany, these where the “Holy Nights” during which one was not allowed to sew or knit, that was the tradition. If one took up a needle during these Holy Nights, it was said that animals would be born with their ears sewn together, deaf, the following year.”

The reader has the sensation of sitting right opposite the old lady, clacking her knitting needles to a “back in the day…” Ruth Damwerth has preserved Marie Olschewski’s memories in a worthy way. Softly she describes a sunken world, Masuria – gently revived and captured through the delicate voice of Marie Olschewski. The sound of a voice still very much turned towards life.

Marler Zeitung, 02.07.2004, on “Wo gehst du, Mariechen?“

A newspaper article drew the historian and German studies specialist’s attention to the farmer from Masuria. “Eight times I went to visit Marie Olschewski in Marl last year. It was a pleasure to listen to her story.” From the tape recordings of these cozy chats the Munsterian “knitted” a moving piece of literature.

Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 03.02.2004, on “Wo gehst du, Mariechen?“