After the War (1945)

 

When the front in the east broke down, my father discharged his driver and he discharged himself. He ‘organized’ a bike for himself and started cycling towards Leipzig in civilian clothes.

 

 He arrived in Leipzig in the very early morning hours and went straight to Sophienstrasse, believing us to be there at grandma’s. What a fright he experienced, when he saw the bombed out place with a huge pile of debris, where the entrance should have been! He cried and cried, because he thought, we were all dead. It was still a bit dark and he could not see clearly. Next thing he thought, he ought to enquire at the police station, whether anyone in that cellar of Sophienstrasse 20 had survived the bombs.

 

To his relief he found out at the police station, that everyone in that cellar had survived! They were also able to provide him with our new address in Leipzig, which was the place of grandma’s sister. That meant he did not have far to go to find us. I remember, waking up that morning, where Mummy was already awake, sitting up and talking to Daddy, who sat at the end of the bed!

 

The Americans, including the Canadians, were still in Leipzig. I cannot remember, that there had been any fighting in the area before the Americans came. The Canadians I had seen first. They were all very tall, very slim looking guys, probably only around twenty years old. They moved through a neighbouring street in their jeeps. Some soldiers were walking close to the jeeps, extending cables along the road.

 

Some German civilians stood around, watching our ‘occupation force’; they were clearly amazed, how good-looking, fresh and young those soldiers appeared. They did their work in a non-hurried, casual way, here and there throwing some friendly glances towards young and old people, who stood watching them. To us, this meant, the war was over.

 

In this beautiful spring weather we could look hopefully to the future again. Since my grandmother’s old apartment had been destroyed by bombs, and since her family of seven needed accomodation, she was allocated an apartment after only a few weeks waiting time. The new apartment was in a different part of town, not so close to the city any more, but still close enough for walking to the city centre.

 

I cannot remember how all the furniture, which Grandma had saved from the ruins of her apartment, got to the new place at Friedrich-Ebert-Strasse. But I know for a fact, that every piece of furniture had been set up in the new place. The residential buildings were only on one side of Friedrich-Ebert-Strasse, the other side of the street was a nature strip along a canal.

 

We kids went for lots of walks with Dad along this beautiful nature strip during the upcoming summer months. As far as I remember Mum never came along for these walks.

 

In June 1945 the Russians replaced the American occupation force in Leipzig and the Americans moved to Berlin. It so happened that our apartment in Berlin was from then on in the American Sector of Berlin!

 

What sticks to my memory is how contingents of Russian soldiers marched through the streets of Leipzig, singing loudly. The had marvellous voices!

6 thoughts on “After the War (1945)

  1. I am just starting to do research on an idea for a novel I have and your posts seem to fit right in. From time to time I might even ask you a question or two if you don’t mind. I loved this story. So far I’ve loved all your stories, your memories. It’s definitely important to have a written document such as yours. Did you start this blog for your family? Or for yourself? Either way, I think it’s great!

    1. Hi Doc!

      Yes, I started writing for my family So far I get from bloggers so much more response than I ever received from my family, my husband excepted. Peter has read up quite extensively about the war and about history in general. He has started to write down a few of his own memories too. If you want to ask questions, please do. I’ll try to answer them. If you need dates etc. I think Peter would be the one to ask. He has quite a few books on the subject too. I must admit, most of Peter’s books I didn’t read. My knowledge is more of a personal kind.

      Peter, who was born in 1935, can remember amazingly much about the end of W W II. He has written about it in German and is trying now to write down some of these memories in English for his English blog.

      You find his blog here: berlioz1935.wordpress.com

      Thanks for your interest. And good luck with that idea for a novel!

      Best wishes, Uta.

  2. I’m trying to imagine the mood at that time. I bet a combination of excitement and fear… One never know at the end of a war which way the winds will blow… I loved the idea of you taking long walks with your dad. Beautiful. 🙂

  3. Yes, the walks with Dad were beautiful. Dad always talked to us about a lot of things. He would talk in such a way that it was easy for us to understand him. He always talked slowly with perfect pronunciation and grammatically correct. I don’t think we lived in fear after the war.

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