Libraries published new Germans from Russia book, Death of a Past
December 8, 2006
The NDSU Libraries is pleased to announce publication
of the book, Death of a Past Life, by Robert N. Reincke,
North Hollywood, California.
Death of a Past Life, written by Robert N. Reincke, MBA,
and edited by Stephen M. Herzog, PhD, historian of 20th-Century
eastern Europe and Russia, is the true story of an elite German-Russian
family's horrific travails from the burgeoning of the St. Petersburg
Bloody Sunday Massacre of 1905, through pre-revolutionary St. Petersburg
and elitist Tsarskoe Selo, to the Russian countryside in the Lenin
pre-Stalin era, through Yaraslavl, back through Leningrad and near
death through the Siege to a desperate evacuation to the Caucuses,
and to Germany via Berlin and the countryside, finally ending in
an impoverished immigration to Ellis Island in 1949.
Actual photos of this family illuminate the era they lived in as
they experience first the grandiosity, and then the horrors created
by their country's leaders and followers. The book is flavored with
research of the intricacies, some forgotten, of the world as it
was. It is fraught with the external chaos caused by no less than
two World Wars and a Revolution that threw an entire civilization
into fear and flight. The scenes, settings, and events of this classic,
Russian epic are not imaginary. They are real. And the tyranny of
the period in which this story took place is neither that long ago
nor that far flung from the potential of what we can recreate.
Robert N. Reincke, the author and grandson of the books protagonist,
Nina, has taken the considerable number of stories he was raised
with, added historical background information where possible to
add further depth and broader societal episodes to the stories told,
and filled in the complications of human interactions, emotions,
subtleties and dialogue in the form of a biographical novel. The
chapters are based upon actual incidents communicated by mostly
the main protagonist, Nina, Robert's grandmother, Omi, who was born
in 1906 and will be 100 years old at the publication of this book.
During the time period in which Robert wrote the story, he re-interviewed
his grandmother, taping and videoing what he could, interviewed
his mother, and used a little black book that his grandfather kept,
which dated events that occurred during and after the Siege. Where
the events written about occurred before anything recorded by Robert's
grandmother, grandfather, Nick, or mother, Ann, they have been reconstructed
to be as true to the nature, character, look and feel of the period
as researched and provided by his grandmother in years shortly after
their occurrence. There also seemed to be something else at work
in the writing of the book, which can only be ascribed to the metaphysical
and seeming inference of details that were later corroborated that
could have only come from the beyond -- perhaps as other writers
have noted, Robert's deceased ancestors, in an attempt to be heard,
were speaking to him as well.
About the Author
Robert Reincke was born in Detroit, Michigan, in October of 1963,
one month before the JFK assassination and seven months after the
death of his grandfather, Nicholas. From his earliest days right
through to his adulthood, Robert heard the many stories his omi
told him about the idyllic days of life as a wealthy German family
in the St. Petersburg of the last Tsar. The La Belle poque was something
that Robert fantasized was truly his own era instead of his upper-middle
class suburban Michigan one, and he always took a great interest
in them and the family genealogy.
Robert has most recently worked as a writer of business plans specifically
for investor immigrants, (www.immigrationbusinessplans.com).
Robert has been published in two scholarly articles concerning business
plan writing submittal requirements for the Department of Homeland
Security as it applies to immigration attorneys (search Robert Reincke
at www.ilw.com ). He's also won
an Honorary Award for a short story submitted to the scholarly Journal
of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia,
worked as an instructor for Otis College of Art and Design teaching
artists (toy designers) business and business plan writing skills,
and taught writing (business plan) at Los Angeles Community College.
In his prior life as a professional businessman, Robert, a Master's
of Business Administration, worked at some of Americas top corporations,
as a theatrical contracts business representative for the Screen
Actors Guild, and as a consultant to the Theatrical Department of
the Directors Guild of America. Partially in purposeful contrast
to the above, he also spent five years toiling as an international
male fashion model, of which Robert has completed one of two memoirs
to be published at a later date. Additional complementary information
about Robert can be found on his website www.robertreincke.com
where you may also find his email address to contact him directly.
Cost of the book is $30 plus $4 postage payable to NDSU Library.
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, Death of a Past Life Book,
NDSU Libraries, PO Box 5599, Fargo, ND 58105-5599. Website to order