Monday 27 February 2017

BLOG TOUR ~ Stasi Wolf by David Young

David Young is the CWA Historical Dagger 2016 winner and author of Stasi Child and Stasi Wolf (out now), paperback, £7.99.

Hi Everyone,

Today I'm on the Blog Tour for Stasi Wolf and I'd like to welcome David to my blog today where David has very kindly taken the time to give me an extract from Stasi Wolf as part of the Blog Tour. I was thrilled to be asked by Emily Burns from Bonnier Zaffre Books to take part along with some other fab book bloggers too. You can find out who else is taking part in this fabulous Blog Tour below. So without further ado, here is the extract:

July 1945

Halle-Bruckdorf, occupied Germany

Your leg stings as you shuffle along the ledge to try to get

comfortable. Frau Sultemeier has fallen against you during the

never-ending night. Being squashed together with the others

down in the disused mine gives a little warmth, a perhaps misplaced

sense of safety in numbers. So you feel slightly disloyal

as you move sideways to get some space – feeling your way in

the blackness, where the sun’s rays never penetrate, even during

the day. You daren’t put your foot down because you know your

boot will be filled again by the cold, coal-stained water and the

pain will be unbearable. You can hear it, sloshing around – the

water that seeps in everywhere, into every sore and wound. You

can’t see it, but you know it’s there.

Sultemeier snorts but doesn’t wake. You almost wish she did.

You want someone to talk to. Someone to calm your fears. Dagna

could do that. Your younger sister was never afraid. The drone

of the bombers, the explosions of the bombs, the fi re in the sky,

the dust clouds and rubble. Dagna just used to say: ‘We’re here.

We’re still alive. Be thankful and wait for it to get better.’ But

Dagna’s gone now. With the others. She heard – we all heard –

the stories they told in the League of German Girls. About how

the Red Army soldiers are worse than wild animals, how they

will rape you again and again, tear you limb from limb. The

others didn’t want to find out if it was true. So they’ve gone to

try to reach the American zone.

Another snort from Sultemeier. She wraps her arm round

you, as though you’re her lover. Frau Sultemeier, the miserable

old shopkeeper who before the war would never let more than

two children into her shop at once. Always quick to spot if you

tried to pocket a sweet while you thought her eyes were elsewhere.

She, like most of the others here, was too old to run. And

you, with your injured foot from the last British bombing raid,

you can’t run. So you had to come down here with them. To the

old lignite mine. Most of the brown coal round here they just

tear from the ground, huge machines taking big bites directly

from the earth, feeding what had seemed like a never-ending

war. The war that was once so glorious. Then so dirty, so hateful,

so exhausting. But you Kinder des Krieges knew about the

disused underground mine – the cave, you used to call it – when

you played down here before the war, you and your sister Dagna

astonishing Mutti with how dirty you used to get. ‘Black as little

negroes,’ she used to laugh, playfully patting you on your bums

as you ran to the bathtub. Mutti’s gone now, of course. Died . . .

when was it? A year ago, two? And you’ve still never seen a black

person. Well, apart from in books. You wonder if you’ll ever see

a real, living one.

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