Lena Wolf currently lives in London, but grew up in Kazakhstan as a child of Germans from Russia parents. Lena’s mother Angelina, was born in the German village of Blumenfeld in Ukraine and her father Adam, was born in the German village of Gnadenfeld, not far from Rostov on Don. Both were deported in 1941 to Kazakhstan when they were still very young. Lena’s family moved to Germany in 1990. She completed her two degrees, BA in Linguistics, and a Master’s in Management Studies, in Wellington, New Zealand. Lena is currently working on a graphic novel about the history of Germans from Russia in the Soviet Union.
A Graphic Novel: The true story of a German family who stayed behind in the Soviet Union
In Lena’s graphic novel, she tells the story of Germans from Russia who stayed behind in the Soviet Union. The story is told from the perspective of three women: Lena’s grandmothers Emilia and Josephine and Lena. Grandma Emilia tells us about the deportation from her village in Russia to Kazakhstan, a journey that took more than 4 weeks in freezing conditions. Grandma Josephine tells us about her gulag sentence of 20 years in Vorkuta, a place located 150 km north of the arctic circle. Lena tells us about what it was like to grow up as a German child in Kazakhstan; Baking ‘Zuckerkuchen’ with her grandmother and eating ‘Beshbarmak’ (a Central Asian dish) with her friends.
In her presentation she will focus on one part of the story, the deportation of Grandmother Emilia to Kazakhstan. She will show the latest illustrations and will meet Grandmother Emilia and Lena as graphic novel characters. Participants will learn how Grandmother Emilia survived when they arrived in Kazakhstan in -35 degrees (-31 Fahrenheit) and were dropped off in the snow covered steppe with no protection in sight.