|The Mack Family in Germany at their Golden
Wedding Anniversary, May, 1999.
Eduard Mack on his Book About Grossliebental
Eduard Mack über Sein Großliebental-Buch
Mack, Eduard. "Eduard Mack on his Book About Grossliebental." Volk auf dem Weg, December 2001, 34.
Translation from German to English by Alex Herzog, Boulder, Colorado
[Bold emphasis, as always, is that of the publisher]
Many Germans from Russia value greatly the fact that memoirs
about their old homeland are being written down in books.
Some of them take care of it on their own by publishing books with
20, 50, or a few hundred copies, just enough for their relatives
and acquaintances. Others risk printing more. No one has become
rich that way, but they certainly have received some satisfaction.
And among German-Russian books on the old home country there are
by no means few that are definitely nothing to sneeze at.
One of the best comes from Eduard Mack, born in 1918 in
Alexanderhilf in the Odessa area. His book Erinnerungen an die
deutschen Kolonien des Großliebentaler Rayons bei Odessa [Memories
of the German Colonies in the Grossliebental Rayon near Odessa]
has found quite a respectable readership. No wonder, after all Grossliebental
was among the most important colonies in Ukraine, and most of the
Grossliebental folks who are still alive are now living in Germany.
Rudolf Bischof, one of the oldest volunteer colleagues in our Landsmannschaft,
has interviewed Eduard Mack on his book:
Bischof: How often did you go back to your old home to gather
materials for your book?
Mack: Three times. I talked with the current residents,
and also with the old residents who remained there during the wave
of evacuations in February of 1944 and were able to live there all
this time. Since then, a few former residents have been able to
return to their villages, spent some of their working years there,
and are now pensioners.
Bischof: How has your book fared with your own people [Landsleuten]?
Mack: Interest in the book has been unexpectedly strong.
There have been three printings numbering 750, 1000, and 600 copies,
respectively. We have our hands full with all the packaging, shipping,
and so on.
Bischof: Has anyone helped you with this work?
Mack: In addition to members of my extended family, my cousin
Emma Prägnitzer and former classmates and friends from my youth,
such as Artur Lehr as well as Eugen Arnold, have been the best helpers.
Bischof: Which former residents of the villages have bought
the most copies?
Mack: Those from the rayon center, Grossliebental. In second
place: my own village of Alexanderhilf. Presumably because many
of our own people [Landsleute] from there still know me.
Bischof: Has there been any criticism?
Mack: None at all of the negative sort. Many, many have
simply expressed thanks. Messages of congratulations and praise
continue to arrive. Positive reports have been printed in local
papers, magazines, and in Volk auf dem Weg.
Bischof: Our people are dispersed across the whole world.
Have there been orders from other countries?
Mack: Of course, most of the orders have come from Germany.
However, there have also been some from Switzerland, Ukraine, Holland,
Austria, and Russia. Fifty copies were shipped to the USA, where
Prof. Michael M. Miller has been making inquiries concerning a translation.
Bischof: Have any native Germans ordered the book?
Mack: About 50 orders, from pastors, doctors, teachers of
our children, and others. I have given some copies to, for example,
the mayors of Ravensburg and of Weingarten, to the city library
of Ravensburg, and to the Landesmuseum. It seems that word
about the book has gotten around in our area, because one day I
received an invitation to talk to a tenth-grade class. The interest
level among the students was surprisingly high. Later I was invited
by the school people to give a talk at an evening meeting of the
teachers' union, and I received much applause.
Meetings of this kind, with native German residents, serve the
cause of integrating our Aussiedler. It would be nice if
the Landsmannschaft were able to train a number of speakers
who, like Jakob Fischer, would go from town to town and represent
our ethnic group in a worthy manner.
Bischof: Do you have enough copies of the book that might
be ordered as gifts at this holiday time?
Mack: The supply is not sizable. But if people hurry, they
might still be lucky.
Bischof: Will you have a fourth printing?
Mack: No. I am now 83 years old, and my health leaves a
lot to be desired.
Bischof: We thank you very kindly, Landsmann Mack,
and best wishes for your health.
Our appreciation is extended to Alex Herzog for translation of this article.