WWII Love Story Retells Fate of 14 Million German Refugees

Award-winning Author Publishes Historical Novel Inspired by True Events
By: Annette Oppenlander
 
SOLINGEN, Germany - Sept. 23, 2021 - PRLog -- German American novelist Annette Oppenlander is passionate about WWII stories from the civilian perspective. Her newest historical novel, The Scent of a Storm, explores the German refugee crisis of 1944/1945, when 10-14 million women and children in East Prussia, Silesia and other Eastern regions had to flee from the approaching Red Army. Many died on the way, many more were forced to resettle, never to see their homes again. Others were caught, enslaved, brutalized and killed.

The result is an intense historical love story that spans 45 years and ends during the German reunification in 1989/1990. Though her characters are invented, Oppenlander does thorough historical research and uses eye-witness reports to authenticate her tales.

"I want to tell stories that remind us of our past, maybe teach us something new," says Oppenlander. "Because the plight of the refugee is ever-present. A refugee has left everything behind and must forge a new identity and life in a foreign environment—a monumental task."

About the Story

East Prussia, 1944:
Young lovers Annie and Werner are separated from each other when he is drafted into Hitler's Volkssturm. While the SS orders Werner to remove the dead bodies of frozen refugees from Königsberg's streets, Annie discovers she is pregnant. As she urgently awaits Werner's return, rumors of the advancing Red Army mount and with it, alarming reports of what they do to women. Running for their lives, Annie and her mother embark on a life-threatening journey west. Even before they can escape by boat, Annie makes a horrifying mistake, one that will haunt her forever. Werner, arrested and imprisoned in a Russian gulag, manages to escape after four months of cruelty and returns home. But his and Annie's family farms lie abandoned—the love of his life and his own family have vanished...

East Berlin, 1989: On the evening of November 9, when the borders between East and West Berlin open for the first time in nearly thirty years—a day which ultimately heralds Germany's reunification—Annie watches a correspondent on West TV who reminds her of her childhood sweetheart Werner, the man she thought was dead for 45 years. Together with her daughter Emma, Annie sets out on a search...

Visit https://annetteoppenlander.com for more information.

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