rss feed

Reitweil Seelow

Mon Aug 28 20:02 - 52.4994 N 14.5818 E

The Battle of the Locusts

The old A1 once connected Aachen with Kaliningrad; very close is a place called Reitwein at the foot of the downs called Sporn. From here it becomes apparent what happened here - the red army attempted to storm over the Oderbruch, flatland 15 Kilometres wide, in order to finish off what remained of the 9th army, heading for Berlin. Here General Shukow had his headquarters, in a forest forest which is still a maze of trenches, shelters and positions - still recogniseable as dug outs in the sandy soil. Close to a million red army soldiers against 200.000 Landsers, 33.000 russian soldiers and 12.000 german soldiers dug into the soil, this was the last enforcent between here and Berlin.
Some of these villages have two graveyards, one for the russian and one for the german soldiers, here in Reitwein 3000 russian soldiers alone! Walking through the forest I admit i'm afraid to step onto some age old shells which haven't gone off, as it happens the farmers still find them and sometimes they detonate. Not that the villagers are too keen on the story, but for the outsiders it is everywhere - the landscape tells its scarred tale. In the local pub i meet an old lady, a refugee from kaliningrad who was seven at the time. She came from the A1 and found a new home at the A1. She still bemoans her loss, but realises her home has changed, too. It is not the same as in her memories anymore. There are a lot of miles and a lot of years in between.


Es widerstrebt mir über diesen unseligen Krieg zu schreiben, hier wo 50000 Soldaten irgendwo im Boden stecken, geht es doch um das hier und jetzt. Und dennoch kommt man nicht so ohne weiteres drumrum.
Die 'dicke Eiche' könnte einiges erzählen, und der alte Postweg durch den Wald, an den sowjetischen Stellungen entlang, auch. Doch wenn man es wagt, hier den Spaten in die Erde zu stemmen, stösst man unweigerlich auf die Zeugnisse - hier ein Knochen, dort ein Stiefel; es war der Februar 1945, ein kalter Winter, der für so viele das Ende war.
Schwer vorstellbar, bei der Ruhe hier, das hier das Inferno tobte, die Häuser in Ruinen, die Menschen auf der Flucht. Es scheint, die Geschichte wiegt so schwer, dass niemand sie noch wahrnehmen will. Und vielleicht ist das auch gut so, denn es erscheint lähmend von so vielen Toten umgeben zu sein, wo wir doch alle leben wollen. Diesmal in Frieden, das erscheint mir der Konsenz zwschen den Menschen zu sein. Polen ist ja gleich um die Ecke. Aber kennen, so richtig kennen tut sie hier keiner.

View Larger Map


Closer (8)
Thu Aug 10 21:36:30 2006

contact (1)
Fri Aug 11 19:31:26 2006

Bikers and other people (7)
Sat Aug 12 23:17:54 2006

Kleine Bademeusel (4)
Sun Aug 13 20:30:57 2006

muellrose (6)
Mon Aug 14 17:46:32 2006

Biosphere (3)
Thu Aug 17 16:31:00 2006

schwedt (2)
Fri Aug 18 14:56:31 2006

puszcza wkrzanska (0)
Sat Aug 19 13:06:30 2006

Greifswalder Bodden (3)
Mon Aug 21 20:51:19 2006

Northnortheast (0)
Wed Aug 23 11:20:26 2006

lands end (2)
Thu Aug 24 12:28:23 2006

mueritz scnr (0)
Fri Aug 25 18:30:22 2006

odertal (3)
Sun Aug 27 15:35:58 2006

Reitweil Seelow (5)
Mon Aug 28 20:02:06 2006

chelm odra (2)
Thu Aug 31 19:06:02 2006

januszkowice (3)
Sat Sep 2 17:15:58 2006

leg (2)
Sun Sep 3 9:16:00 2006

horni lomna wodka cola (2)
Sun Sep 3 19:45:59 2006

pramen (0)
Fri Sep 8 17:49:19 2006

Moravice (0)
Fri Sep 8 6:26:35 2006

Arrival Hochdorf (10)
Fri Sep 8 17:51:29 2006

(#) comments



5 comments so far (post your own)

Posted by hannah chiswell on 2006-08-29 20:40:40 | #34



ghost walk.

as you travel with cat in coat, photos in water, feet on shells, meeting other spectres with other things in mind, a trace of a mother tongue, 7o year old woman in seven year old language, frozen or still time. the possibility of movement through that, small journey of small body. and then these other journeys. made by me, us, we. trying not to step on unexploded mines, time bombs and other time lapses, passing through empty zones crowded with others' presence. thinking of it in totnes book shop. and rubbing up against in some sort spectral aside. really, some sort of hero.


Posted by hannah chiswell on 2006-08-30 21:13:05 | #35

more ghosts today: Israel condemned for using cluster bombs in Lebanon. 90% of those dropped were within the last three days of the conflict - when a resolution was clearly on the way. 100,000 unexploded bomblets found so far. days, months (or years) of treading some unseen line, the ground is potentially not the ground. the garden has some new ornaments. and it is all somehow already torn to shreds.


Posted by hannah chiswell on 2006-08-30 21:20:48 | #36

...and the east is drifting further east.


Posted by rdnzl on 2006-08-30 21:38:04 | #37


you can see where 'the east' starts at the moment on google maps. Ukraine, Belarus, Romaina etc. - all terra incognita. Although Moskow cannot be ignored :),23.620605&spn=16.306463,31.464844

Posted by altf4 on 2006-08-31 09:35:15 | #38

well, the east is now - in the rain, over the river, last posting before i've found where the true east starts. :)