Remembering October, 1944

Nemmersdorf (Ostpreußen)
October 21, 1944. It's the 88th anniversary of the Nemmersdorf massacre and the invasion has never been more relevant to modern times. This brutal Soviet intrusion on an eastern village in East Prussia marked the beginning of the end for East Prussia. (The Third Reich was doomed a long time before that.) What marked this particular attack was not only the extreme violence (too horrid to specify) but also how it was used by the Nazis. Goebbels immediately sent out a film crew and showed the reel as a propaganda trailer before German cinema features. The message was clear. Be afraid, be very afraid … the Soviets are ruthless barbarians. 

But instilling fear into the broken German population and the demoralized Nazi troops was not enough to stop the revenge-seeking Red Army. October 21, 1944, Nemmersdorf was just an appetizer of what was to come three months later, when the full assault began on January 24, 1945.


Present-day Nemmersdorf is in the south eastern part of the Kaliningrad Oblast and known as Mayakovskoye. Located on the Angrapa River, it's a quiet place with a population of less than one thousand. Any surviving Germans were expelled or fled, as in the rest of the former East Prussia. 

Instagram is full of images of the ruins in Kaliningrad. Those beautiful ruins began crumbling back in 1944 ... a poignant reminder of war and destruction. 

Hearing about the violence and torture happening now, in occupied Ukraine, in October, 2022 just a few hundred kilometers east of Nemmersdorf ... seems unreal ... like a nightmare. Young men turned into monsters, humiliating their peers to avoid being humiliated. How did this all happen? 

I didn’t want to blog about war and violence today. I wanted to blog about something positive and good. I wanted to write about chocolate. Next week. 

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