1955 FASCINATING ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARY HANDWRITTEN BY A PAIR OF GERMAN TEENAGERS: ONE SUFFERING PRE BERLIN WALL OPPRESSION IN THE SOVIET SECTOR AND HIS LUCKIER FRIEND IN THE AMERICAN SECTOR WHO WERE GIVEN A SUMMER CAMP EXPERIENCE IN ENGLAND

By: WERNER AVENHAUS AND HELMUT MATTHIAS

Price: $5,585.99

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Good +


On offer is a terrific, significant journal written by two German high school students who visited an English camp during the bleak years following WWII. The journal, measures 9 1/2 inches by 6 1/2 inches. It is composed of 88 pages fastened together with a letherette lace between cardboard covers. The cover has a very lovely ink sketch of London Bridge. It is in very good condition as are all 88 pages. The layout is 'landscape' and each page is typed. The spelling, grammar and language construction are excellent. In 1955, Werner Avenhaus and his friend Helmut Matthias are high school students in Lichtenrade. Avenhaus lives in the Soviet Sector but is able to cross into the American Sector to go to school as the Berlin Wall was still 6 years in the future. Both boys were likely born about the beginning of WWII making them 15 or 16 at the time this was written. Avenhaus notes that his father was killed in the war. In August, 1955, Avenhaus and his friend Helmut are selected to take part in an international summer camp experience in Britain. Life was not easy: "I myself live in the Soviet Zone and I have to pass controls at the frontier every day when I go to school. My father has fallen during the last war and so my mother has to earn our living. So you can imagine that there was not much hope for me to see a foreign country. You can imagine my joy when Helmut Matthias, a fellow pupil of mine, and myself were chosen for a 15 visit to England. Almost immediately I tried the passports and visas. This was very difficult for me, for I had to conceal my plan from the authorities in Eastern Germany which would never have permitted me to visit a country of the western hemisphere." He travelled by himself and met his teacher a few days later in Hannover. Matthias, living in the American Zone had no such problems. What follows are pages of excellent description of their journey and experiences. Their initial destination was London where stayed overnight. The next day was given over to sightseeing: "The first important building we saw was Westminster Abbey, the huge cathedral were all the kings and queens of England were crowned since 1066 ... A black marble in the floor of the nave marked the last resting place of the Unknown Warrior ... Behind the cathedral we saw the Houses of Parliament ... and the famous bell called Big Ben ... After a while we reached the next interesting building: Buckingham Palace is the London residence of the Queen." Later that day, they meet several students from Italy and Australia. They all boarded buses and drove north to the small town of Cuffley where they moved into a wooded, fully-equipped campground for two weeks. With Matthias taking over some of the note-taking, they describe the camp and those they met there: "... It was an international Course for Senior Pupils from Western European Schools and Englicsh Grammar Schools on Literature and the Arts in Western Europe. It was the first time that senior pupils from schools in Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Spain had joined their contemporaries in England to study each other's language, literature and arts." They describe their own group, their tent quarters and how their days unfolded. Mornings were given over to lectures and studies in a foreign language, discussion and seminars on literature and art followed by afternoons for sports and bus tours of the surrounding area. The journal is simply chock full of details. There was a lot of activity packed into those 15 days. Cuffley Camp is operating to this day. The journal has a number of black and white photographs pasted into various pages. Also of interest are two letters. An undated one written by Wolfgang Sutor and addressed simply to 'Dear Friends', expresses thanks for a pair of shoes and a winter coat: "... I was very glad indeed to get a very good winter-coat... I was extremely delighted about it because I did not possess any and it is winter now..." The second letter is written by a girl - Waltraud Ernst. Dated January 10, 1953, it too is addressed simply to 'Dear Friends' In it she expresses thanks for a package of red wool she received so her mother could knit her a sweater. She describes her life in the letter, noting that she is 20, attends school, works part-time as a cashier. She observes: "... In Germany, everybody is glad to have work. It's very difficult to get a place for the young people who have finished school..." She tells how her father, 65 yrs old, a concert musician before the war, lost his leg in the fighting. Her mother is 58 and very ill. She makes a very poignant comment ... You can see the traces of the last war in her face... She expresses the hope that someday she can become a teacher. At the end of the journal, Werner and Helmut express their gratitude for the opportunity to take part in the camp: "... we had also enormous profit by learning other nations' idea, wishes and customs, to see what it means to help each other on the human basis and to see that we are all part of a great human family that has one foundation ... we are sure that this is the best way to make friends in the world." It is signed by both boys. Casual research has not discovered what happened to these young people but there is a reference to one Werner Avenhaus in the German documentary Up To The Border - A Personal View of the Berlin Wall. In it, Avenhaus, identified as a "Contemporary Witness", is interviewed saying.I was particularly touched by the authenticity that was exactly the case. For a historian, it is an excellent look at an effort to forge international friendships against a backdrop of the Cold War and the foundations of today European Union.

Title: 1955 FASCINATING ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARY HANDWRITTEN BY A PAIR OF GERMAN TEENAGERS: ONE SUFFERING PRE BERLIN WALL OPPRESSION IN THE SOVIET SECTOR AND HIS LUCKIER FRIEND IN THE AMERICAN SECTOR WHO WERE GIVEN A SUMMER CAMP EXPERIENCE IN ENGLAND

Author Name: WERNER AVENHAUS AND HELMUT MATTHIAS

Illustrator: /

Categories: Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 20th Century Diary, 20th Century Manuscript,

Publisher: Germany - England, 1955

Book Condition: Good +

Type: Manuscript

Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall

Seller ID: 0008112

Keywords: KEYWORDS: WERNER AVENHAUS, HELMUT MATTHIAS, WOLFGANG SUTOR, WALTRAUD ERNST, BRITAIN, HERTFORDSHIRE, EAST OF ENGLAND, HERTFORDSHIRE COUNTY SCHOOL CAMP, CUFFLEY CAMP, BERLIN WALL, WEST BERLIN, EUROPEAN UNION, UP TO THE BORDER, GERMAN YOUTH IN 1950S, LICHTENRADE, GERMANY, BERLIN BOROUGH, COLD WAR, 1950S, BERLIN BEFORE THE WALL, POST SECOND WORLD WAR GERMANY, INTERNATIONAL SUMMER CAMPS IN 1950S BRITAIN, GERMAN SCHOOL STUDENTS IN 1950S, LIFE IN POSTWAR GERMANY, POSTWAR GERMANS' TRAVEL, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, DIARY, DIARIES, JOURNALS, PERSONAL HISTORY, SOCIAL HISTORY, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D'ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANOSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL