Walter Panknin (1898 – 1977) and His Family Ch6 Part 6

Moving to Another Camp

Biene wrote this post.

One day in early spring, our mother told us that we would soon be leaving the camp in Aurich, East Frisia; we would move to Velbert, situated in the Rhineland region of  West Germany.  My mother sounded very excited and joyful because she was born and raised in the Rhineland, a beautiful part of Germany. It meant saying goodbye to my best friend Ingeborg and all our other playmates with whom we had shared so many exciting adventures and experiences.

However, before moving to Velbert, we first had to spend several weeks in a transitory camp in Massen,  a small town near Unna, close to Dortmund,  our second station in the “Golden West.”   I remember from that short stay that my mom was quite upset because we had to sleep in a big dormitory again with lots of strangers.  And to make things worse, we had to lie on straw mattresses.  But my parents consoled themselves with the prospect that we would soon move to Velbert.  That’s where apartment buildings for refugees were being constructed rapidly.

Biene’s Brother Walter Standing in Front of Transitory Camp in Massen

On a bright, sunny day in early Spring, we were loaded with all our luggage and several other families onto the open back of a big, old transport truck with makeshift benches. My brother and I had rarely ridden in a car.  This was my first time in a vehicle. For us, it was exciting!  My mom thought it was odd that we were transported like baggage. She didn’t like that we were all crammed together in this small, draughty and not too clean space. But my brother and I were laughing with the other kids and some boisterous men enjoying the cool breeze and the changing scenery. After a few hours, we were all shaken up by the bumpy ride.  The increasing cool drafts, the loud noise of the motor, and the vehicle’s rattling started to make us feel sick. Suddenly the truck came to an abrupt halt beside an old, dilapidated stone building that looked almost like a dungeon, dark and foreboding.

6 Replies to “Walter Panknin (1898 – 1977) and His Family Ch6 Part 6”

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