An American Woman, Two Small Children, and Survival in World War II Germany
By Mary Hunt Jentsch
Foreword and Epilogue by Steve Mumford
TREK IS A DRAMATIC TALE of survival in Nazi Germany during World War II that provides a unique view of how ordinary people in another era lived in a world transformed by war. This beautifully written memoir describes the horror of the Allied bombings of Berlin, the author’s foraging for food and shelter in the countryside, the dissolution of German agrarian life, and the desperate “trek” made by the Pomeranian village of Barnimskunow to flee the invading Red Army.
Mary Hunt met German-born Gerhard Jentsch in 1921 while he was studying at Harvard. After they married, Gerhard ran an academic program in Geneva, where the couple’s two children were born. The family moved to Berlin on the eve of World War II, and Mary soon found herself separated from her husband and struggling to survive the war in the German countryside. As the war wound down, Mary and the children managed to stay one step ahead of Russian tanks that steadily sealed off their last routes of escape to the West. Maps trace the author’s journey, and there are vintage photographs of the family.