Claudia Heinermann – Wolfskinder. A Post-War Story


Self published 2015

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The war orphans of World War II in East Prussia were called wolf children. They roamed the Baltic countryside in search of food and shelter. Hundreds of thousands of Germans fled the Red Army’s advance into East Prussia and Königsberg at the end of World War II. Again and again children were lost or disappeared in flight. While some witnessed the murder of members of their own family, others were forced to watch helplessly as their siblings starved to death, grandparents died of weakness or the mother succumbed to an epidemic. On their own, these children now tried to survive in the forests of the Baltic states, against hunger, cold and Soviet despotism, which fought a battle for life and death. Some shelter found with the Lithuanian farmers who took them in secret and barely able to care for them. In return they had to work the farm. Most were denied an education and many cannot read or write today. In general most of the children were given a new identity and names of Lithuania to disguise their origin. For decades they remained behind the iron curtain without their destiny to be known by the general public. Since the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990s the lives of wolf children also changed dramatically. My book documents in pictures never before shown their lives, from the times of their childhood to the present day – Claudia Heinermann