Fritz Reuter, known as the greatest of all Low German dialect writers, was born in Mecklenburg. Two of his books which have been translated into English describe the life of the common people in Mecklenburg during the first half of the 19th century. Both books are available for purchase by special order from Amazon Books or check with your local library. They are also available through the inter-library loan program. (For example, both books are available from the main branch of the Los Angeles Public Library.)
If you want to learn about the life of your ancestors, I recommend both of these books.
"SEED-TIME AND HARVEST; or During My Apprenticeship"was translated from Reuter's "Ut Mine Stromtid", his most famous work. It is the story of three groups of rural peasants in Mecklenburg--those who work for the nobility on large estates, those who are tenant farmers, and those who live in small villages. This book is a "must" if you want to understand the life of these people.
"WHEN THE FRENCH WERE HERE; or In the Year 1813" was translated from Reuter's "Ut de Franzosentid". The story takes place in a small village in Mecklenburg during the French occupation and the ensuing War of German Liberation. Mecklenburg suffered greatly during 1813 because of the ravages and plundering of French troops.
There are two recent books out on Mecklenburg Vorpommern, both in English. The first is "Mecklenburg & West Pommerania" by Tom Crepon with English translation by Patrick Plant. The second is "Die Küste Mecklenburg-Vorpommern" by Mader/Plambeck.
I have not seen the book "Die Küste Mecklenburg-Vorpommern" (The Coast of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) by Mader/Plambeck. It's ISBN is 3-921957-75-3 and it is written in German, English, and French side by side.
I purchased the book "Mecklenburg & West Pommerania" by Tom Crepon (ISBN3-356-00780-7). This 91-page book has over 35 color pictures of the landscape in various areas of Mecklenburg Vorpommern. It contains good information as well. Chapters of the book are: The Place and the People; History and Stories; Modern Times and a New Beginning; Towns and Villages; Castles and Gardens; Culture and Art; Things Worth Knowing and Seeing.
This book will give you a good view of the country today, as well as the history of the country with some interesting facts and figures. If you want to see and read what the country is like and learn about its beginnings, you will enjoy the book. It will not give you specific information about what life was like for your ancestors.
The book is available through Amazon on-line bookstore--the German subsidiary. Amazon.de and Amazon.com (the U.S. parent company) are separate and independent sites. This book must be ordered through the German site. Go to Amazon, Germany Home Page (or you can e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org). I ordered my book through this site and had it shipped to me. My cost for the book, including premium shipping, was approximately $50.00.
Because Amazon.de is a German website, there currently is no way to access this site in English. The search functions and online order form are both in German. They are easy to navigate, however, with a few hints.
Go to the website. Click on the "Suche" link. Enter the author in the "Autor" field or/and the title into the "Titel" field. You could also start an ISBN search by clicking on "ISBN=Suche".
When you find an item that interests you, click on the title to see the detail page. If you wish to order that item, press the button labeled "In den Einkaufswagen", which is equivalent to the shopping cart on the U.S. site. Repeat the search process until your "Einkaufswagen" contains all of the items you wish to order. Then press "Zur Kasse gehen" to begin the order process.
You can browse for other titles of books this store may carry by clicking on the "blaettern" link in the top navigation bar. Then click on "Blättern Sie in unseren US-Titeln"
You can use your Amazon.com account on this website. Just enter your email address and your personal password. You must use credit card payment (click on "Zahlung mit Kreditkarte" during the order process.)
Your shipping options are standard (Deutsche post, 2-3 week estimated delivery time) or premium (Deutsche post, 1-2 week estimated delivery time. Before you confirm your order, the form will tell you the exact cost for both the books and the shipping in Deutsche Marks.
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