By William Hornung
Collected by Cornelia Schlarb
Translated by Edda Loomes and James Gessele
Published by the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, North Dakota State University Libraries, Fargo, ND, 2014, 176 pages, softcover.
William Hornung’s book, Another World: From The Life of Germans in Bessarabia, Sketches and Poems, is a delight. It offers the reader a journey back in time to a world that is now difficult to imagine, influenced as we are by the hurly-burly and high tech glitter of the twenty-first century. Hornung’s world was Bessarabia.
This volume deftly transports the reader into the world of Bessarabia in the time between the two world wars. The author, born in 1925, describes the world of his childhood with endearing sketches and poetry. He is able to shed light on the times of grandparents and great-grandparents of Bessarabian German descendants worldwide. This other world differs profoundly from our contemporary universe. It is a world bound intrinsically to the region of Bessarabia, to its network of multiethnic relations and to the time in 1940 of resettlement to the German Reich.
The son of a country doctor, Hornung lived in Lichtental during his childhood and teenage years, leaving in 1940 at the age of 15. Yet, his observations were so acute and granular and his memories so deeply embedded that he was able to transfer them to the page more than sixty years later in a collection of narrative sketches and poems.
Hornung is a gifted author whose writing appeals to all the senses. He has a remarkable ability to capture not only the sights, but the sounds, the colors, and the aromas of his former homeland. This entire sketch is a conversation with the reader on the agrarian life of the Bessarabian Germans and the mutual influence of man and nature to create the character and spirit of the Bessarabian German.
Wilhelm Hornung’s Another World is an enchanting and highly informative look at a life that has faded forever from our eyes. So take up this book, slip into the wormhole of time, and you will discover how it was “back then.”
Hornung Family 1931
The Renz Family home
Another World: From the Life of Germans in Bessarabia
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