My Family’s Reaction
After reading my account regarding the lucky escape from the bombs in 1945, two of my grand-children had a few questions. One asked, whether there had been a lot of noise, when the bombs came down, the other one wanted to know, which song little Peter had been singing, when we were bombed. And had the lights gone off?
Well, we always had some candles handy, in case the lights would go out. On this occasion for sure the lights all went out instantly. The noise was horrifying as the bombs hit us. It was such a terrific noise that nobody could be in any doubt, our house had been hit this time. In the quiet that followed and before people started to move around to look for an escape, they did light a few candles.
Five bombs had hit our building in quick succession. Immediately afterwards it was absolutely quiet. That meant, there were no more planes in the air. What if the last plane, that was around, just had to get rid of the last five bombs before flying back to follow the other planes who were on their way back already?
As far as little Peter’s song is concerned, I think it was probably the song about little Jack who wanders off into the world and his tearful mother stays behind. After seven years the boy thinks of his mother and very quickly runs back home.
For people who can read a bit of German, here is the text
for the song about little Jack (Haenschen Klein):
Haenschen Klein, geht allein, in die weite Welt hinein.
Stock und Hut stehn ihm gut, er ist wohlgemut.
Aber Mama weinet sehr, hat ja nun kein Haenschen mehr.
Wuensch dir Glueck, sagt ihr Blick, kehr nur bald zurueck.
Sieben Jahr, frisch und klar, Haenschen in der Fremde war.
Da besinnt sich das Kind, kehrt nach Haus geschwind.
Five Bombs have to be dropped
“Damned, the chute is jammed!”
“Hurry up, hurry up, we must go back!”
Finally the bombs are released: All five of them are dropped close together in a residential area. The plane with three men on board follows the other planes. It is April 1945. Today most bombers make it safely back to England. It is their lucky day.
The five bombs hit a house in Sophien Strasse in Leipzig. They ripped apart a solidly built five story residential building.The whole building is completely gone, except for the groundfloor: Bits and pieces of the ground-floor are still standing! Even some completely undamaged furniture can be seen somewhere on the ground-floor.
The rest is just loads of rubble near the road in the front and also in the back. Where the entrance to the building used to be, there is just an immense heap of debris. It looks like nobody would have come out from under there, if this is where the entrance to the people’s air-raid shelter had been.
Miraculously everyone did come out from under all that debris. The cellar-rooms were not damaged at all. One of the cellar-rooms had a window out to the street, which was not blocked at all and people were able to get out through there.
A lucky escape indeed.