The Bride's Trunk: A Story of War and Reconciliation

by Ingrid Dixon

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"An extraordinary narrative""Carefully pieced together from personal and official documents, oral testimony and material objects"“A gripping and moving story, with excellent illustrations."A true story of love and reconciliation in the aftermath of the Second World WarMinny leaves Germany on a bitterly cold morning in December 1946 and travels to England to marry Jim, a British Intelligence Corps soldier in the Allied armies that defeated the Nazi regime in 1945 and occupied the devastated nation. She has survived British and American bombs and witnessed the destruction of Aachen, her ancient and beautiful city. How will a German woman cope in austere post-war Britain, where she is still regarded as the enemy? Illustrated with almost 100 images and original documents, The Bride's Trunk describes the adventures of an unremarkable piece of luggage and three generations of its owners, whose journeys across Europe are determined by the turbulent events of twentieth century history.Some comments on 'The Bride's Trunk'“An extraordinary narrative, pieced together from original documents, about a couple who were determined not to let war defeat them. 70 years ago the British government passed a law allowing British men to marry German women, but little thought was given to the life that those German women would find, in the aftermath of the second world war. This heart-warming tale brings alive childhood and adolescence in pre-war Germany, followed by a new life in the old enemy country."Jackie Ashley, President of Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge, and journalist “Scant attention has been paid to the 10,000 or so German women who married British soldiers at the end of the Second World War. In this often moving account, Ingrid Dixon traces the story of her own parents, one a former secretary for the German police, the other a British soldier from the Intelligence Corps, both of whom were caught up in the chaotic last months of the Third Reich and its immediate aftermath. Their story is carefully pieced together from personal and official documents, oral testimony and material objects, including the old trunk which survived the vicissitudes of war to carry the bride’s worldly possessions to her new home in Liverpool.”Professor Peter Wilson, Chichele Professor of the History of War, University of Oxford “A gripping and moving story, with excellent illustrations, which really evokes time and place and is a sensitive treatment of the conflicting feelings associated with war.”Dr Philip Towle, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge