Charlotte tells her story to her niece Renata. Daughter Uta is listening in the background.
Charlotte: ‘You have no idea, what things I had to do to find our furniture!’
Renata: ‘I’ve heard, there was a Russian soldier who wanted to kidnap you.’
Charlotte: ‘Too right. This Russian, who came along in a jeep, saw me walking along the Chaussee. He stopped and pointed to the seat beside him and then pointed straight ahead. He looked friendly enough. I felt very tired after a long day trying to find out, where all our furniture had ended up. I thought this Russian was just a guy, who wanted to help out a tired looking woman. So as naive as I was, I hopped into his car. Before I got in, I pointed into the direction of the next village and asked him, whether he was going to Herzfelde. – H e r z f e l d e? I said repeatedly. The Russian nodded his head. He was very young and friendly looking. When he took off with me, his face broke out into a big smile. It did not take long, when he slowed down a bit. I looked to the side and then it dawned on me, he wanted to turn off into a side-road, more like a track really. I could see a lot of trees in the distance. So I thought, that this was, where he wanted to take me. In a split second I made a decision. He had just turned the corner, when I jumped out of the moving jeep and ran back to the Chaussee as quickly as possible. Then I was walking along the Chaussee, where quite a few cars were going in both directions. My friendly Russian came back to the Chaussee, yet he did not bother to invite me into his jeep again!’
Renata: ‘An amazing story. You are so brave, Tante Lotte!’
POSTSCRIPT: I cannot remember the exact circumstances when and how Mum told this story. My cousin Renata is a few years my senior. That Mum told her niece Renata the story in this way is my invention. However it could have happened this way. That Mum was nearly kidnapped by a young Russian soldier, this is definitely true. Herzfelde is a small town east of Berlin. Our furniture had been stored at a place called ‘Ausbau’ as I had told in earlier blogs. Some of the neighbours had helped themselves to some of our furniture after the war and had taken it to different places in the area. I have no idea, how Mum managed to recover most of it and get it transported back to Berlin.