About the author
Edeltraud was born in Fellhammer, German Silesia, in 1930, but spent most of her formative years growing up in Berlin, Germany. She was educated as a nursery schoolteacher at the world renowned Pestalozzi-Fröbel-Haus, graduating in 1949. She met her future husband, an American soldier, in Berlin four years after World War 2 ended. She came to the United States with her husband in 1952. An Army wife for thirty years, she has traveled extensively, raising four children along the way. She earned her U.S. citizenship in 1963. She passed away at her home in February 2018, surrounded by her children.
An old postcard of Fellhammer, Silesia (Fellendorf Collection)
Historically, the province of Silesia was part of Prussia until Prussia united under the German Empire in 1871. However, when someone asks me where I’m from, I always say Berlin; sadly, the place where I was born, Fellhammer, Silesia, doesn't really exist anymore. After the war, most of Silesia reverted to Poland per agreements made by the Allies at the Yalta and Potsdam Conferences, and ethnic Germans in Silesia were forced out of their homes and off their lands. Even the names of the towns were erased as new ones were selected in Polish. My beloved Fellhammer became Sil Kuznice Swidnickie. Waldenburg, the larger town just to the east of Fellhammer, became Walbrzych. Most of my relatives in Silesia relocated to Gera (Thürigen, Germany) and the Rheinland Moers.