Fiction – Novels, Novellas, Short Stories

Natascha Wodin
Sie kam aus Mariupol

© Rowohlt Verlag, Reinbek bei Hamburg, 2017 Natascha Wodin: Sie kam aus Mariupol © Rowohlt Verlag, Reinbek near Hamburg, 2017Natascha Wodin is the daughter of a Ukrainian forced labourer, one of many millions of people who were deported to Germany by the Nazis. In bringing her mother out of anonymity, she highlights a fate that similarly affected many others and to which there are practically no literary testimonies (…). Wodin closes this literary gap. (…) For a long time, the author did not know that she was the child of forced labourers, but knew only “that I was part of a kind of human scrapheap, some old sweepings left over after the war“.
Her parents remained in Germany as displaced persons. Stalin saw them as “traitors to the fatherland” who were likely to face at least social exclusion upon their return. In 1956, when Wodin was ten, her mother committed suicide. She had never spoken about her life before the war. Wodin’s main motive for writing about her mother is a deeply personal one.
What unfolds in the first part of the book, which has four parts, is a very unlikely journey of discovery. Without the Internet it would have been impossible. The author learns that her mother Jewgenia came from an aristocratic family from Mariupol. Wodin approaches her mother through her relatives; Jewgenia’s grandparents, parents and siblings appear. Each part of the puzzle that is found reveals the empty spaces around it.

Carola Ebeling: „Das Schweigen Jewgenias“
© die tageszeitung, 14 March 2017

Natascha Wodin
Sie kam aus Mariupol
Rowohlt Verlag, Reinbek near Hamburg, 2017
ISBN 9783498073893
368 pages


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