Der Zug in Die Freiheit (The Passage to Freedom)

Review by Arnold H. Marzolf

Näs, Nelly. Der Zug in Die Freiheir (The Passage to Freedom). Marburg, Germany: Verlag Friederich Oetinger, 1984.(Gift of Victor Knell).

This book is a continuation of the story found in Nelly’s first book, Woelfe und Sunnenblumen (Wolves and Sunflowers). The latter book was translated into English, and is being serialized in “Heritage Reivew” (Part 1, May 1989, Volume 19, No. 2).

Nelly’s first book, Wolve and Sunflowers, took us from Friedenstal, Russia, to Wronke, Poland (a difficult trek of nine years). Her second book, The Passage to Freedom, takes us from Wronke to West Germany (the land of freedom). In this book, Nelly Daes review the nine-year trek she and her family had endured through Russia (in Wolves and Sunflowers), and reminds us that her father had been shipped off to Siberia; her brother, John, had gone astray during the trek; and her elder brother, Hank, was still somewhere along the trek, moving slowly with a wagon and horses.

Nelly Daes now (in The Passage of Freedom) continues her story as she relates the experiences she and her mother had in Poland while the war was drawing to a close, and while Germany was being completely defeated and devastated. Her story finally ends with their entrance into Frankfurt (and other parts of Germany), and the happy return of and reunion of John and Hank. Only their father was still in Siberia, dead or alive.

As I said in the introduction to Wolves and Sunflowers, in “Heritage Review,” Nelly helps us understand what wars, destruction and suffering do to human beings “from the viewpoint of a child and woman.” If you are enjoying Nelly’s story from Heritage Review, you will also enjoy The Passage to Freedom.



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