When I was in Michigan City (1994) Sybil and Bill asked me how did you live when you was a child and a young girl.
I will try to remember , at this time was the war, but that is only my personal memory.
When the war started I was 5 years and this is my first memory:there was come a man in our house and he said when the siren will start, you all had to go in the cellar and you all must wear a gas-mask.We looked like a science-fiction-insect. When the war was stronger we never used it, because we have only one or two for all the people in the cellar.
When German soldier had catch Belgian, German children from Cologne and other big citys went for holidays to a Belgian family.I was there. The name of this village is Malmedy. I remember that this family had a dog and he must pull a car.In the car were standing some bottles of milk. It was summertime, so children went outside and played.. So the woman had no work with this foreign child.I think it was not easy for Belgian woman to give food and a bed for a German child. It was very quite there, no planes no bombs.
1942 Emmi, me and a lot of other children from Cologne drove by train to Dessau (there was also the boy Fritz, because he and his family lived there.Fritz father worked by the Junkers plane factory. When a new plane started at first, he had to escort it. He was a plane technician. Fritz began to study this in the war. But after the war German people can` t do it.)
In Dessau Emmi and I came in a home for children, after 1 or 2 weeks we came to a family.But the woman in the family was not nice.She can` t understood that Emmi and I were frightend about the planes.At this time the bombs felt down only of the Junkers factory and not often of houses.We were happy to go home after 5 weeks (I think it were 5 weeks)
When 1943 startet, the planes came nightly.
And during the night we were sitting or lying in the cellar. We had some beds for older people and children there.When the bombs had a sopransound ,we frightend this sound because we knew it crashed nearly.A bad bomb was a Luftmine Air-mine ?? One of that crashed a lot of metres behind our house but it was terrible.All the cellars had a cutting to the neighbourhouse. You had to crash only one stone.When our neighbourhouse (it was my uncles house) crashed down, they all came in our cellar.Brand bombs felt down of our house. My father, other men and my older sister Betty can put out the fire.After that we had no light, no water, ————
no windows, not all our furnitue but we all had our live. Thats only important. Betty was born 1923 and she never went in the cellar.She said:they can kill myself but only in my bed ,in the cellar we never will come out. But we all came out. and our house was standing at the end of the war.It looked not nice , had no windows and a lot had chrashed. .At the middle of 1943 we didn-t go into the cellar, we went to a channel under the earth.People thought it is safe.For myself was the channel very frightful I frightend the channel.When bombs felt into the river Rhein the channel mowed.Now the planes came also during the day.The most time the radio-speaker said:anglo-amerikanische Verbände im Anflug auf Köln.But often they were flying over Cologne and the plane left only few bombs.I think,they like to say:hello Cologne we see you, but now you can sleep.We had a little dog,he felt when plane were coming.He ran to his dog-collar,then to the door,back to his collar and to the door.Then we had to go. The sirene in our quarter was chrashed.This animal did always the right things or animals had a better feeling then people..In the evening my brother and me said to God, please let the bombs fall on our school.And he did . .So all children were happy.But a lot of Cologne children came in a KLV-Lager.That`s the Kinderlandverschickung a lot of people said: Kinderlandverschleppung. There is no name in English.We came to the East-Germany, because there was no war, no bombs, no fire in the night.We were between 30 or 40 children in a big house and a lot of teacher for us. We slept 4 or 6 girls in a room.When soldiers are in a barrack it is the same, I think so.Me was the youngest in this house, We had learn a lot Months later we had to do an
examination. One of the questions were: what will come behind the third Empire? If pupils said the fourth Empire they couldnt go to High school (Gymnasium) we had to say Das dritte Reich wird immer bestehen (the third Empire will be for 1000 years) This house was im „Eulengebirge“ this mountains are behind the „ Riesengebirge“. The king of this mountains is the Gigant „Rübezahl“.There is in German a beautiful song: Oh du mein Riesengebirge.
But now it is Polen. The biggest city there is: Breslau. thats the German name.In February 1944 I had to change (because i had not say the fourth Empire )I came to „Wartha an der Neiße“ There was another school .The name was „ Adolf-Hitler-Schule“In Germany you had to pay money if children go to a Gymnasium (since 1965 or a bit later nobody has to pay for Gymnasium . It is your high-school) In the Adolf-Hitler-Schule parents must no pay money.,but there were only two of the best pupils from the fourth classes from a lot of schools..That was a good idea from Hitler.After the war I went to a Lyzeum it was a high school, only for girls.We mustn`learn latin. Now my parents had to pay. But back to Wartha by the river Neiße.After 2 months we had another examination an than I changed to another school in Münsterberg.It closed Breslau. It was a big Adolf Hitler Schule. Is the name boarding-school? There were only 10 or 12 children from Cologne and all the other from Breslau.The parents visited their children every sunday and took the clothes to clean it, and the Cologne children had to clean and washes their clothes by themselves. The older girls helped me.It was a terrible time,because I was only ten years. There were no plane, no bombs, but now the Russian soldiers were nearby.In the summer my father came and took me home. That was a kidnapping,because we had to stay there. My mother frightend nothing and nobody but my father frightend that very. So it was not easy for him to do that.
Heinz my brother was a short time in Ostpreußen.My mother said to him: if you has homesick write a card and paint a cross of it. My mother told us the first card was full of crosses. So my mother drove by train to Ostpreußen and took her boy home.It was her goldboy (Goldjunge)Now we stay all at home. In October 44 in the morning they bombed our riverbrigde in Cologne-Mülheim, we all were sitting in the channel.That was no fun. The water from the river came under the channel .It was terrible.We saw nothing and the channel moved.After that we never went into the channel.
In front of our house there were a lot of barracks for war-prisoners . They were from Polen, women and men.My mother was working as stewart on a train. German women had to work,because there were no men.But Heinz and me were very young, so she got a help for the house and those are 2 young women from this barracks.They are happy to stay in a house were the couple and the children are friendly and helpfully.After the war the prisoners killed some people in our street but nobody did something bad in our house. In Nov. 44 my mother, Emmy. Heinz and me came by train to Volkmaritz. It was a little,little village in the middle of Germany(later it was the DDR).The people are not friendly to the Cologne people.In the schools in Cologne children lern a lot, but children in this little village had lern only a bit.So it was not easy for Heinz and myself. The teacher was stupider than me .In January my mother took me home to Cologne,because I frightend the teacher, the pupils and a lot of other things
We drove home by train it took few days,and at the last night the planes came and shoot ? of the train. A soldier helped my mother and so we had good luck and came home.Than mother must go back to Emmy and Heinz and I was by my father and Betty in our house. It was a big fun for myself.A old couple , three other men(they are older then my father) and my father and me slept in our cellar.Only Betty in her bed. Do you remember,she will died in her bed .And all this people loved Elfi. There was no other child in our street, they all do a lot for myself. Then the American soldier were in Cologne.There were only 5% of Cologne houses standing after the war.We lived at the other riverside.The men were no soldiers they are the „Volkssturm“
They were lying at the river in ditches?.But they had no rifle.and they do nothing.And I run often to this ditches then they were angry, but also happy that I came.Next to us there was a big „Wein-cellar“ deep in the earth. People took the wine in bottles but then the soldiers saw that and they shoot in the cellar. Bill all this fine wine was runing over the street.A short time later Betty took me back to our mother and now people from the Rheinland went back from the Eastern Germany (the Russian soldiers were coming) to the middle of Germany.We came to Eimsen it closed Hannover.The end of April 45 American soldier came and they were friendly and helpfully . May the 11 .the end of the war. Weeks later our mother found a way to go home., by car, by train and on feet. That was a long and
strong way to Cologne. My mother ( 44 ) my sister Betty (22) Emmy (16) my brother Heinz
(10) and me (11) ., but we all were healthy.
Black soldiers were very nice to children. They often gave us food and chocolates. I remember i had a very nice bracelet, , I got a pound of coffeebeans for it from a soldier. And mother was very happy. She gave it to another man and got a lot food for us.
Soldiers have a (Hundemarke) dog -tag ? and a soldier brought my fathers dog-tag. So it was clear he was killed. But it wasn’t. He was a war-prisoner by French men. Months later he came home but he was ill. Time between 1945 and 1947 was very strong. We were always hungry and there was a lot of trouble. No food, no flats, no clothes
but also no planes and no bombs., and the most people were nice to their neighbours.
End 1945 and the begin of 1946 children mustn’t went to school. (We had none) -J
I had to learn a lot in and after the war. But all the time after and today I feel always
happy that we and our children have no war and I am thankful.
No I will close, because it is no book.
I hope , when you have a lot time to read it , you can understand it.
Perhaps one of the kids will help..