Author Erika C. Stevenson's New Memoir Gives a Voice to Sudeten Germans
Author Erika C. Stevenson desires to give a voice to the Sudeten Germans, an oft-forgotten group who experienced hatred and xenophobia already present after World War I, and the final solution of ethnic cleansing following WW II. In her new book, "Fighting for Road Apples: A Memoir" (published by iUniverse), Stevenson chronicles her personal experiences as a German in Bohemia (present-day Czech Republic).
The Sudeten Germans were ethnic Germans living in Bohemia. Following World War II, the Czechoslovakian government held these Germans responsible for what the country endured under Nazi rule. As a five-year old child, Stevenson faced hatred for being a "N?mec" - a Czech word for Germans. She experiences hunger and witnesses the brutal killing of her beloved pets. Her people are forced to wear the letter "N" on their sleeves to signify they are a N?mec. They are forced to walk on the street, not the sidewalk, and be off the street by 7:00 p.m. They were not allowed to use any public transportation; their cars were confiscated, and their native language forbidden in public.
At the end of WW II, the Czech President returned from exile and immediately started the process of ethnic cleansing. The Sudeten Germans were stripped of their possessions and expelled from their Homelands. Several thousand were murdered. Many died as a result of hunger or illness associated with being a refugee. "Fighting for Road Apples" presents Stevenson's experiences as a young girl facing hatred.