Michael Brand
Artist & Photographer

Marianne Petersen in America

Boom Of Danzig Guns Is Echo
Of Past to German Co-ed Here

A slender, tilt-nosed German girl at the College of Wooster fled the city of Danzig a few miles ahead of the Russian Army in 1945.

Brown-haired Marianne Peterson, now of Hamburg, could hear the boom of Russian artillery as she and her parents left their home with only a few clothes and family keepsakes.

Marianne's grandparents were among the majority of Danzigers who left for Germany. They died in a Danish refugee camp. Fortunately Marianne and her parents never had to live in one of the camps. They were sent to a small town where they lived in one room for years.

Under Fulbright Grant

Now they have a three room flat in Hamburg and Mr. Peterson has work that “is just a job but keeps us going.” He was in the shipping business in Danzig.

Before coming to Wooster Marianne studied law at the University of Hamburg. She thinks now that she'll switch to sociology.

Her study here is under a Fulbright scholarship. In addition to room and board she receives pocket money, but not enough to finance the sight-seeing trip she would like to take out west this summer.

She likes the fairly inexpensive fashionable clothes in the stores here and finds it difficult to save for her trip instead of going shopping.

“I'm always fighting with myself,” she smiled.

There is more simple elegance in American women's dress than Marianne expected after seeing American tourists in Europe.

Nazism Not Evidenced

To pay for her schooling at home, the German girl worked as a secretary a year after graduating from high school. While in school she did office work afternoons.


School at the university was quite different from the college here. Marianne finds exams and assignments hard to get used to.

She likes the food here, especially the large amount of fruit, salad, and milk always served.

“I don't think there is any sign that Nazism is coming up again,” said Marianne. She thinks many of its genuine followers were disillusioned by all the bad things that became known toward the end of the war.

Hitler youth 15-16 years old were given guns and sent out to shoot them during the last days of the war. The ones that lived had enough of Hitlerism, thinks Marianne.

At present there is great disinterest in politics among university students. Marianne herself deplored the need of an army.

“0ne does not have a good feeling at seeing
all the new soldiers,” she said.

By Alma Kaufaaa

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