Final Years in Brandenburg, 1945–1949
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Starting from Zero Hour on May 8, Germany ceased to exist as a state.1 We were still refugees in the house of the forester of Lindau, 30 mi from Brandenburg, where our house was bombed on April 20, 1945 (see Chapter 2, Figure 9). A few days after the bombing, we had fled together with the families Bergen and Richter from Brandenburg to avoid the advancing Soviet Army. We ended up in Lindau, as described on pages 2-28–30. Now, we had to survive the next few days after having been overtaken by the Russians. As a not quite 14-year-old boy, I could still roam around rather safely and freely. There was no danger that I would be mistaken for a soldier and imprisoned, and I had no valuables that could be taken from me. In the woods, I inspected the huts built by the soldiers out of small trees and branches as their living quarters. Sometimes they let me know that I should stay away (ΠpoGь!). I could not search for Mutti’s2 jewelry which I had thrown to the upper floor of the barn in a quick decision to hide it. The barn was now filled with the soldiers’ horses and off-limits to me. There also was nothing edible to be searched for that early in the year.
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