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Erna Schuster Becker 



From Franzfeld to Mansfield

A Journey Through Tito’s Death Camps

by Erna Schuster Becker


Product description...


          This memoir conveys the journey of ethnic Germans living in an area that had changed to a non-German nationality after WWI in southeastern Europe. The towns existed because during the Austria-Hungary reign, people were asked to resettle there from northern areas of that empire. The author tells the story of her life that began in a town called Franzfeld, not too far from Belgrade. The town now is called Kacareva.

          During and after WWII, the village was occupied by the German Army, then the Russian Army and ended up under Tito’s regime. The men were away in the war. This town, along with other German towns, was drastically changed after the Russians came through in 1944. The Russians took men and unmarried women with them to rebuild their war-torn country. These workers lived in camps with little food and had to perform hard labor.

          When Tito came to power, the Germans were stripped of all their rights. In 1945 all Germans were forced into concentration camps, many of them known as death camps.

          The author and most of her family survived, and because of her mother’s courage, escaped to Austria in 1947. After re-uniting with her father, it took the family five more years to find a permanent home in America.



Product details...



Format: 6.14 x 9.21 paperback, 199 pages

Publisher: Outskirts Press (Jun 16, 2010)

ISBN10: 1432749129

ISBN13: 9781432749125

Genre: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Cultural Heritage


Author Information...

          Erna was born in Franzfeld, Yugoslavia, as an ethnic German. She lived through years of imprisonment and displacement after WWII. She arrived with her family in Mansfield, Ohio, at the age of 14 in 1952. Here she grew up in the 1950s along with other recent immigrants. After retiring in 2000, she decided to record her story. She felt that the story needed to be told, to give the next generation a glimpse into their heritage. She hopes to make more people aware of the Genocide of the Danube Swabian German people. She and her husband still live in Mansfield and have been married over 50 years. She is proud to be an American citizen.


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