FELDPOST – The War Letters of Friedrich Reiner Niemann: A German Soldier on the Russian Front
Feldpost: The Wartime Letters of Friedrich Reiner Niemann documents the life and frontline experiences of a German soldier from the 6th Infantry Division from 1941-1945. Niemann, a well-educated youth from an artist family in Cologne, was sent to the Russian Front four times.
In his extensive correspondence, Niemann describes the fighting at Rzhev, Russia, 1942-1943, and his survival of the destruction of his division during the Soviet summer offensive in 1944. His is a rare view of battles that annihilated entire German divisions and armies. He wrote his final two letters home from the front in Poland on 12 January 1945 before he disappeared during the Soviet Vistula-Oder Offensive.
After the Second World War, the Niemann family preserved Reiner's letters and photographs, and shipped them to New Orleans when Reiner's sister, Liselotte Andersson, had emigrated. Neglected in an attic for over fifty years, the documents surfaced only after Hurricane Katrina flooded the family house. Andersson's daughter-in-law, author Whitney Stewart, discovered the letters in 2012 and contacted Denis Havel to translate them. Together, Havel and Stewart uncovered historical details that enabled them to follow Reiner's trail and tell his story.
About Whitney Stewart (New Orleans, Louisiana Author)
Whitney Stewart was born in Boston and graduated from Brown University with a degree in children’s literature and linguistics. She has lived overseas — France, Germany, India, and Japan — where she relished the culinary variety. She’s always had a passion for writing history and biography for kids. To research her books, she’s trekked with Sir Edmund Hillary in Nepal and hiked to Buddhist monasteries in Tibet and Japan. She's interviewed two Nobel laureates — the Dalai Lama and Aung San Suu Kyi — in their homes.
Stewart’s forthcoming publications include: Mindful Kids: 50 Mindfulness Activities for Kindness, Focus, and Calm. (Barefoot Books, fall 2017); What’s on Your Plate? (Sterling, 2018); Mindful Me: Mindfulness and Meditation for Kids (Albert Whitman, 2018).
When Stewart is not reading, writing, or traveling, she teaches mindfulness and meditation to adults and children. She lives in New Orleans.