Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Regina M. Shelton  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction


-- Regina M. Shelton on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

She works at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

Biographical and Professional Information

Regina M. Shelton is an author and war historian. Shelton is recognized for teaching, through publication of her memoirs, universal compassion to the horrors of war.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

To Lose a War: Memories of a German Girl
ISBN: 0809310740

Southern Illinois University Press. 1982

Martin Blumenson refers to this book as a “sensitive, beautifully written personal memoir,” and calls it a contribution to under­standing, “particularly to Americans who know little of how World War II and its immediate aftermath disrupted the lives of those who survived the defeat of Germany.”

Vividly, humanly, Shelton tells her story from the point of view of a teen-age German girl, one who witnessed her country’s surge to power and who felt the ignominy of both Germany and Ger­mans after the fall. She reaches a point during the war when “Sometimes the way we now live seems unreal, as if we were marionettes, with orders and permits and schedules attached to us instead of strings.”

But after the defeat of Germany life gets considerably worse. The victorious Russians evict the natives from their homes. They sneer and leer at the women who must venture forth for food. In this defeated land “the nights become unbearably long without any physical activity by day, sleep refuses to come. I yearn for sleep, be it temporary or eternal. Death is becoming a friend the enemy has a new name now: Rape.”

Then comes the dreaded order to evacuate all Germans from Lower Silesia: “How can a whole people be uprooted, disowned, tossed aside like useless flotsam—how? With the stroke of a pen, with a new line drawn on a map, we are sentenced to homelessness.” Not knowing where they will be sent, they plod out into darkness and cold with the other Germans, their worldly goods reduced to what they can carry. Embittered, they are herded into vermin-infested freight cars, still unaware of their destination.

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