When I was born in 1958 my mum was given a birthday present for me by a relative of my grandmother’s. It was a book which she kept for me until I was able to listen to her read the story. She must have read the book to me and let me play with it as the pen drawings on the cover and the slightly ripped pages show. Somehow it survived my treatment and when I found it in a cupboard as a teenager, I looked at it again and found out that it was a poetry book about a journey through Germany. I was even more surprised that the Berlin Wall didn’t feature and only then realised that I was born before Germany was divided. So I kept the book.
A few weeks ago I found it again while looking through an old box and tried to find out a little bit more. I didn’t find much, except …
I found a handful of copies for sale and thanks to the adverts I found out that the book is even older than I am! It was printed in 1948 by the Zwickauer Buchdruckwerkstätte in Zwickau, a town in the east of Germany, in Saxony. The printing shop is not mentioned anywhere else online,but I know that my grandmother had relatives in Zwickau, so it makes sense to assume it was them who bought the book for me.
The idea and pictures were from Karl Heinz Schuster and the text by Adi Stürenburg. I managed to find out that Karl Heinz Schuster was an artist and illustrator, born in Zwickau on the 2nd March 1912, but I could not find any information about Adi Stürenburg.
From next week onwards I will share two pages every month with you. I’m doing this for myself as much as for you – just in case the book gets ruined completely. At least then I still have a copy, except for one page, the first page, where the subtitle is “Zwei Erzgebirgskinder mit Rucksack und Dreirad auf großer Fahrt” as that’s what the story is about: two young children, a boy and a girl, who have worked so much over the winter that they decided to travel around Germany … with a backpack on a tricycle!