Mueller: A Life Between Stalin and Hitler
By Otto Mueller and Yvonne Schmidhauser
Loonbook by Island Art Creations, Nanaimo, British Columbia, 1999,
164 pages, hardcover.
The Germans from Russia Heritage collection is pleased to present
the book, Otto Mueller: A Life between Stalin and Hitler.
The book was first published in German, Otto Mueller: ein Leben
zwischen Stalin und Hitler.
In the Author's Preface, Yvonne Schmidhauser writes: "Over the
course of many hours and many months, Otto Mueller told me the story
of his life. Often he paused, overwhelmed by gruesome pictures of
the past. I recorded the sessions and from these tales I wrote this
book, trying to stay true to his personal narrative style."
In the Dedication, Otto Mueller writes: "For many years I felt
homeless and betrayed by the world, so I'm very grateful to have
found a new homeland in Canada, and hope my children will have the
chance to be happy here. I wish that our Father in Heaven will guard
and protect all of them."
Otto Mueller shares: "The history of the Second World War has
influenced my life with such tremendous force, that my mind continually
occupies itself with the questions of 'What?' and 'Why?' The search
for the truth has, therefore, become something of an obsession with
me. Much was written or shown in movies about this historic period.
I tried to consume it all, but was overwhelmed and irritated by
conflicting information and contradictions. In the end, my search
for the truth left me with one big unanswered question: 'Whose truth?'"
Mueller shares chapters on "Historical Background," "Childhood
(1921-1933)," "Burden of Collectivization," "Escape to Siberia,"
"Adolescence (1933-1939)," "War and Captivity (1938-1946)," "As
a German between Russian and Germans," "Escape to the West," "Waiting
in West Germany (1946-1951)," "Emigration to Canada and a New Beginning
in Winnipeg (1951-1966)," and "Vancouver Island - Finally in the
Otto Mueller was born of German-Russian in Ukraine in 1921. His
childhood was fraught with the atrocities of the Red Army terrorism.
His wit, keen mind and faith in God helped him outlive many life-threatening
situations. Through his skill as an interpreter, first for the Russians,
later for the Germans, he made his way to the East as one of two
survivors of a flight in which 1,500 men left the city of Posen
to escape from being slaughtered by the surrounding Russian troops.
The end of World War II was not the end of Otto's trials. The Allied
Forces, in complying with Russia's request, extradited Russian-Germans
back to Russia. This was equivalent to a death sentence, so once
again Otto Mueller became a fugitive on the run.
Co-Author, Yvonne Schmidhauser:
"Over the course of many hours and many months, Otto Müller
told me the story of his life. Often he paused, overwhelmed by gruesome
pictures of the past. I recorded these sessions and from these tales
I wrote this book, trying to stay true to his personal narrative
of the book by Edna Boarman
Otto Mueller: A Life between Stalin and Hitler
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