May 1945: the Prague Uprising puts an end to the German occupation, and Hitler’s war is over. Thirteen-year-old Barbara stows away her most cherished keepsakes – a pocketknife and a woollen blanket – in her child-sized backpack. These are the family’s only possessions when they escape to the West on the eighth of May – driven from their homes like tens of thousands of other German Czechs, regardless of their attitude to the Nazis.
Barbara Coudenhove-Kalergi’s long-awaited memoirs describe the lost world of the Bohemian aristocracy into which she was born. The well known writer and legendary Eastern European ORF (Austrian state Broadcasting Corporation) correspondent tells of her beginnings as a reporter during the cold war years and of her occasional visits back to her homeland. We learn how her marriage to Franz Marek – a reformist communist and close associate of Rudi Dutschke – affected her as a devout Catholic, and of the repercussions triggered by their bond. With Zuhause ist überall Barbara Coudenhove-Kalergi has fashioned an affectionate portrait of her extensive family as well as a unique testament of the trials and tribulations that afflicted Central Europe during the course of the twentieth century.