Hour of the Women Author:Christian von Krockow, Krishna Winston (Translator) A young German countess must summon all her courage to survive when her aristocratic family founders in the last harrowing days of the war. — A true story -- and a bestseller in Germany -- Hour of the Women begins with Libussa von Krockow's wedding day -- the traditional wedding of the landed gentry, put together piecemeal despite th... more »e shortages and rationing that mark the last years of the war. But it's only a matter of months before Libussa and her frightened family see the first German troops hastily retreating from the Eastern Front. Now pregnant, her husband off fighting, Libussa, her aging parents, and a household of relatives and servants are caught in the backwash as dreaded Russians advance through the rural provinces.
Perched on a wagon loaded with what food and few belongings they can manage, they find themselves trapped behind enemy lines, and Libussa's stepfather, the baron, sees the end of order and life as they know it. Many German aristocrats commit suicide, but Libussa refuses. She is about to have a child, and she's determined to keep it and her aging parents alive. She does so against enormous odds - stealing vegetables from the Russian headquarters, transporting black market goods on foot, escaping rape by hiding in a burned-out tank, posing as a fortune-teller to earn passage west. In the face of the war's last terrible onslaught, the men in the family fold, and it is the women, led by Libussa, who rescue the frail survivors of the old order and start them back toward life.« less