by Mary Hunt Jentsch
Trek is the memoir of world war II written by my grandmother, Mary Hunt. She was american, and a Radcliffe college girl when she fell in love with my grandfather, a German man studying at Harvard. After they graduated they married and went to live in Switzerland, and then Germany. They had two children: my mother, Erika, and my uncle Jerry. Trek recounts the story of the nearly idyllic pastoral life of my grandfather’s family In rural Eastern Germany. It also describes the swift degradation of society under the militarist authoritarian Nazi regime.
In the dark days foreshadowing the war they made the difficult choice to settle in Berlin. Then came the hardship of scarcity and rationing. They endured the terror of living in a city under daily attack by bombers. My grandfather, an academic in his 40s, was drafted and sent to serve at the eastern front, and not expected to survive. Eventually my grandmother, mother and uncle were forced to flee through half-destroyed Germany, as refugees looking for shelter, as German infrastructure collapsed around them. She tells this tragic tale with frankness and humor. It is well worth the read.