The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

Category Archives: Flucht 1945

Johanna Kegler, Widow of Bruno Kegler – in German

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Neuanfang und Existenzkampf der Johanna Kegler Familie

Bericht von Oma Hanna  (Chart II a – II)

Aus den Erinnerungssplittern von ihrer Enkelin Anke Schubert

Im Sommer 1945 wollten wir, da auch hier in Mellen die russische Armee war, vor der wir geflüchtet waren, in die Heimat zurück. Weder Radio noch Zeitungen, nur mündliche Mitteilungen gaben vage Auskunft! So spannte der Bürgermeister – froh, Flüchtlinge loszuwerden, – 3 große Wagen an und transportierte etwa 30 Personen nach Lenzen/Elbe zur Bahn. Tagelang waren wir bis Berlin in überfüllten Zügen, auf deren Dächern Menschen saßen, unterwegs, von Rotarmisten bewacht – manchmal fuhr der Zug nur weiter, wenn dem Rotarmisten, der mit auf der Lok war, „Schnaaps“ spendiert wurde. Wer eine Flasche besaß, mußte sie hergeben. – In Berlin erfuhren wir von Soldaten, die von Hirschberg kamen, dass dort jetzt die Polen waren. Es gab kein Zurück mehr!

Germany 1945 - Photo Credit: nyt.com

Germany 1945 – Photo Credit: nyt.com

Durch das Trümmerfeld Berlin zogen wir mit Handkarren, die irgendwo am Bahnhof rumstanden, aufs Geratewohl zu Verwandten von Keglers, und tatsächlich, wir konnten unterkommen, teils in Charlottenburg, teils im Pfarrhaus in Wedding. Ich bin an diesem Tag mit Hartmut 40 km und mehr hin- und hergelaufen – Bahnen, Busse etc. gingen nicht, Brücken waren kaputt.

Berlin 1945 - PhotoCredit: forum.warthunder.com

Berlin 1945 – PhotoCredit: forum.warthunder.com

Am nächsten Tag ging es wieder zurück nach Wittenberge – tagelang. Dort schrieb ich, noch auf den Treppenstufen des Bahnhofes auf einem alten Feldpostbrief meine Bewerbung um Wiedereinstellung als Lehrerin an das Schulamt, denn die Schulen sollten wieder eröffnet werden. Ich hatte Glück: am 1. Oktober 1945 wurde ich in Rambow – Mellen in den Schuldienst berufen. Es war eine schwere Zeit – keine Hefte, keine zugelassenen Bücher, keine Bleistifte … und es gelang! Arbeitswille und Disziplin halfen mir und 118 Schülern zu bescheidenen Freuden und Erfolgen.

Muehle Mellen

Alte Mühle in Mellen

Meine Familie zog in das Schulhaus in Rambow ein, altes, abgestelltes Gerümpel der Bauern wurde mir geborgt. 1946 wurde die Schule zur Zentralschule, ich zur Schulleiterin, mir wurden vier im Schnellverfahren (acht Monate) ausgebildete Lehrer zur Seite gestellt.

Gertrud Kegler 1896 – 1957

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Life-long Service to the Sick and Wounded

Chart II a – II

On March 27, 1896, Gertrud Kegler, second daughter of Pastor Carl Kegler, was born at home in the parsonage of Grünewald, Pomerania. She attended the local elementary school from 1902 to 1905. For the following three years she received private instructions in a neighboring village to prepare her for the all girls’ high school in Stettin (Szczecin). Like all the other Kegler children she was confirmed by her father in the village church of Grünewald. It must have been a great joy for Pastor Kegler to see his three lovely daughters sitting in the front pew, while he was delivering his Sunday sermon from the pulpit. He endearingly called Marie, Gertrud and Erika (my mother) his three lilies.

The Three 'Lilies'

The Three ‘Lilies’

After graduation from high school she took nurses’ training in Neustettin (Szczecinek) and obtained certification as a registered nurse in 1919. For almost 20 years she worked as a member of the sisterhood of the Johanniter Order. The Order’s regulations have worded this command as, “The Johanniter answers the call, where the suffering of his neighbor awaits his act of love, and where the irreligion of the afflicted demands that he witness his faith.”

Saint Catherine of Alexandria church Photo Credit: wikipedia.org

Saint Catherine of Alexandria church in Thorn – Photo Credit: wikipedia.org

During the Second World War she worked from 1939 to 1945 in a military field hospital at Thorn (Torun) tending to the needs to the sick, disabled and injured. This came to a sudden end, when the advancing Red Army forced the medical administration to close down the hospital. Gertrud fled with her colleagues and managed to reach Stolpmünde (Ustka), where my grandmother Elisabeth and Aunt Marie were renting a small apartment. Shortly after,through a kind of ethnic cleansing all Germans in Pomerania and all the other eastern provinces were expelled from their homeland. So the three eventually arrived in Middle Germany, what later  came to be known as the German Democratic Republic.

A276

Mother and Aunt Gertrud on the Right

After the war from 1945 to 1947 Gertrud Kegler continued to work as a nurse in Belsen-Bergen, where nearby the infamous Nazi concentration camp was located. In 1948, the chief physician, who had worked with Gertrud in Thorn, West Prussia, remembered her as a highly qualified and competent nurse. He asked her to join his staff at the hospital in Malchin. There she was employed as head nurse. She helped under most difficult circumstances to build up the medical facilities of the hospital.

My wife Biene already described in her fascinating blog ‘This Miraculous Life’ at bieneklopp.com the lure of the ‘Golden West’. In addition to the attraction of greater freedom and prosperity in West Germany, there was a third factor that prompted my aunt to cross the Iron Curtain. Her sister Marie, who lived with my mother and me in Wesel from 1956 to 1962, had noticed an ad in the local newspaper for the position of a head nurse in a senior citizens’ home and alerted her Gertrud to the opportunity to start a new life in Wesel. When my aunt arrived in 1956, the three sisters were finally reunited.The Dom in 2001

However, what could have been a joyful period for the three, ended in tragedy. On her time off from work, Gertrud would often drop in at our small two-bedroom apartment on the street corner of ‘Auf dem Dudel 1’. Stress from the new and very challenging position as head nurse was written all over her face. It was not just the tremendous workload in a totally different environment that caused her a lot of grief. It was rather the envious and ill feelings her staff had toward the Ossie (slang for someone from East Germany) that gave her so much pain. Also they may not have liked the conscientious attitude of their supervising nurse, who put the care and well-being of the elderly front and center before comfort and ease at the work place. Gertrud did not mince words when it came to correct sloppiness and negligence in the treatment of the most vulnerable in her care. She may also have suffered under depression, which had struck on and off quite a few members of the Kegler family when they had been under great duress and mental strain. After one year of suffering she could not take it anymore. She committed suicide on February 21, 1957. I was not yet 15 years old at the time. Not having a concept of death as a final event for us here on earth, I was not overly shocked by her parting. I remember her as the kind aunt with enormous eye brows, who liked to listen to me, when I was reading aloud from my Latin reader.

The P. and G. Klopp Story

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Conclusion of Chapter 6

Chart I – III

My very first memory goes back to the tumultuous time, when Mother, my brother Gerhard (Gerry) and I were on a train crammed with refugees. I do not remember any specific details, such as the name of the railroad station, where we must have stopped, the town, the time of the day, etc. What I do remember is that I was standing at the edge of the platform with hundreds of people frantically milling about. I do not know why I was standing there in a strange, noisy station surrounded by strange, noisy people. Then quite unexpectedly the train began to move ever so slowly at first. Panic stricken I looked around and searched in vain for Mother. In agony I cried out for her. While the train on its way out of the station was gradually picking up speed, the fear of being left behind, the feeling of complete, utter abandonment struck me like a ton of bricks. Suddenly I felt being lifted up from behind and passed through the open compartment window into my mother’s arms. This traumatic event left such a vivid impression on me that even though it was devoid of concrete details the inner experience was so real that I have not forgotten it to this very day.

Expulsion from the Eastern Provinces - Photo Credit: Wikipedia.org

Expulsion from the Eastern Provinces – Photo Credit: Wikipedia.org

We arrived in Schleswig-Holstein at one of the many refugee camps set up for the thousands of displaced people from the eastern provinces. But it was only a temporary stay. The authorities urged the newcomers, after they had recovered a little from the ordeals of their long journey, to move on to areas in Southern Germany, which had been less affected by destruction and would more readily have accommodation available for us. So Mother, Gerhard and I traveled into the French occupied zone to Freiburg, where my father’s sister, Aunt Meta, lived with her husband Professor Vincent Mülbert. On a stopover in Offenbach, Baden-Würthenberg, Mother made arrangements for me to be baptized. I often pondered later in my adult life on the reasons why it had taken more than four years to receive my baptism, one of the essential sacraments in a Christian’s life. I see an important lesson for all of us, who have grown up in the rapidly changing era of modern Western civilization with its great emphasis on materialism. The root of evil is not money itself, but, as the Bible states so clearly, it is the love of money. It is the desire to find happiness in the acquisition of material things. Looking back at Gutfelde with this critical perspective in mind, I cannot help, but observe a drifting from the true faith, in which Mother had been nurtured in her father’s home, away to a faith-like trust in the security offered by material possessions. We lived in a mansion that did not belong to us. Father was a good administrator of the lands and fields of dispossessed Polish farmers. Yes, he was kind and helpful to all the people working under his authority. But it does not detract from the rightful charge that the farmland was worked in a system that heavily relied on a master-servant relationship in order to make it work. With the collapse of the Third Reich that was supposed to last a thousand years and the loss of our beloved Gutfelde came the sober realization that their little ‘paradise’ in the east had been nothing but a pipe-dream, a house not built on rock, but on the shifting sands of man’s earthly aspirations.

Freiburg City Center 1944 - Photo Credit: City Archive

Freiburg City Center 1944 – Photo Credit: City Archive

We received a warm reception at my aunt’s place in Freiburg, a city with a population of over 100,000 inhabitants before the war. By the end of the Second World War 80% of the city lay in ruins. An air raid as late as November 27th, 1944 made 9,000 out of 30,000 apartments uninhabitable, killed 2,000 people and all that was left of the city center was the cathedral. The Münster of Freiburg was built across a span of several centuries and exhibited a range of architecture from late Romanesque to Late Gothic and even a tad of Rococo. Its single tower with a lacy spire was the first of its kind. The building remained mostly unchanged since its completion in 1513. Miraculously, unlike so many great cathedrals and churches in Germany, it was not entirely destroyed during the severe Allied bombing of Freiburg and its ensuing firestorm, although the whole area around it was reduced to rubble. The city fathers had expected an aerial attack, even though strictly speaking Freiburg was a non-industrial town and practically useless as a military target. So they put their heads together to find a way to save the cathedral from destruction. My aunt told me, when I came to visit her later as a ten year old, that they had fir trees attached to the pinnacles and other high points of the cathedral so that like Christmas trees they would with their bright green colors of hope alert the pilots to the city’s urgent plea to spare the 500 year old precious piece of architecture. I could not verify the story, but I too found it amazing that everything else in a large diameter around the building was completely flattened by the Allied aerial attack, but the church itself had remained virtually unscathed.

Coal-mining Spoil Tips along the Kalmius River

Coal-mining Spoil Tips along the Kalmius River – Photo Credit: Wikipedia.org

In the meantime Father had a major accident, while he was working in the coalmines in the Donbas region of the USSR. He received treatment for his head injury and would have been sent back to work, if he had not feigned continual headaches. Thus, he succeeded in getting an early release and was sent back to Germany. When he arrived at Uncle Günther’s place in Erfurt, he heard that the entire family had survived the war. He established contact with Mother and the children and in 1947 moved to Rohrdorf, a small village in Southern Germany between the River Danube and Lake Constance. There he found employment with the regional branch of the Fürstlich-von-Fürstenberg forest administration. Eventually the entire Klopp family was reunited. Although now extremely poor, often hungry, and dispossessed, we were together and could attempt a new beginning.

St. Peter and Paul Church Rohrdorf - Photo Credit: Wikipedia.org

St. Peter and Paul Church Rohrdorf – Photo Credit: Wikipedia.org

There were indeed very few refugee families who were fortunate enough not to have lost any family members during the horrible expulsion from their eastern home provinces. Volumes have been written on the topic of the greatest mass migration in modern Western history. I will relate only the bare facts as they pertain to my own family. Father belonged to that segment of civilian population that was deported in large numbers to the Soviet Union to do as it was called ‘reparations labor’. The German Red Cross estimated that 233,000 German civilians were deported to the USSR, where 45% were reported either missing or dead. As to Mother’s expulsion from the eastern provinces, the numbers are truly mind-boggling. The movement of Germans involved a total of at least 12 million people. Official sources, like the German Federal Archives, estimate that at least three million people perished in their flight from the Red Army, in labor camps, through starvation and disease, through murder in retaliation and revenge for atrocities committed by the Nazis during the war years. I mention these gruesome statistics only to emphasize the great miracle of the survival of the Ernst Klopp family amid all the odds stacked against them.

The P. and G. Klopp Story

Chapter VI continued

Report by Lavana Kilborn  (Chart I – III)

My Journey from 1943 to 1947

In the summer of 1943, my mother and I left by train for Hirschberg, where relatives of mine resided. As we lived in the country, it was necessary for me to move in order to obtain proper schooling. My host-family consisted of my widowed aunt Johanna, her parents and three cousins of mine, one of them being a girl, named Elisabeth and two boys. After a few days my mother returned home.

I got along very well with my new family, in particular with Elisabeth, who was of the same age as myself. We sat side by side in school and became good friends. The beautiful city had a large swimming pool, surrounded by grass to sunbathe, play ball etc. On weekends the family would go hiking in the nearby mountains, where the source of the mighty Elbe River is located. The song “Oh du schönes Riesengebirge, wo die Elbe heimlich rinnt …” still makes me melancholic, when I sing it. We also skied on wooden skis. There were no lifts then, but how much fun it was. All these activities were new and exciting experiences for me.

Refugees Waiting for the Last Train at Breslau

Refugees Waiting for the Last Train at Breslau

In January of 1945 everything came to an abrupt halt. Refugees started pouring in from neighboring provinces, fleeing from the encroaching Russian front. They were mostly old people, women and children. There was lots of speculation about how this all would develop, some people moved westward on their own, others stayed in the city, hoping that they may return some day. The evacuation order came in early February and trains were ready to take us to safety and by now we could hear the guns in the distance. My family hesitated, there were discussions, but finally common sense prevailed. And our little group left on the last train out; later on we learned that all Russian soldiers entered the city the following day. Our train compartment was very crowded, one toilet, a small hand basin with only cold water for all of us meant long line-ups throughout the day. Food and drink were provided for our journey. The winters in East Germany are very cold, the land covered in snow, not much for us kids to see. Twice the whistle blew, the train stopped and we were ordered to step outside and move away from the train and stand still. When the whistle blew again, we were to get back on the train immediately. These were brief episodes when Allied planes came and went quickly not interested in us at all as they had bigger fish in mind. However our last stop along the way was different, as we were now ordered not to leave the train. We were all wondering what this was all about. Soon it became apparent that Dresden, the beautiful city, had been bombed, the sky was aflame to tell the story. Later we learned that thousands of people had perished, many of them at the main train station. This was the reason for us to be rerouted a day later. Our Tante Margot survived, as they were in another part of Dresden.

Dresden - Photo Credit: Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-Z0309-310

Dresden – Photo Credit: Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-Z0309-310

Our little group eventually made it to Mark Brandenburg, a place so far untouched by the war. Our major problem was that we were always hungry. Us older kids left daily on food-begging trips. Thus we managed to survive. Often I went on my own. Once while crossing a forested area, I came across the body of a German officer, eyes and mouth open providing a feast to tiny creatures. Another episode was more frightening. Three German teens in uniform, not knowing that the war had ended, shot dead a Russian soldier on patrol. These kids were caught and executed in the courtyard of the farmhouse where we stayed. It was horrifying to hear those shots. Another experience stands out for me. As I was approaching a large farmhouse, the hausfrau saw me coming, yelling at me to leave or she would sic the dog on me. Scared I turned to run off, when a Russian soldier took me by the arm and motioned to follow him into the root cellar. Here the farmers kept their food. From the shelves the soldier took bread, cheese, a piece of bacon and handed me the goodies, which I put into my bag. I was out of there in no time never to come back to that place again.

Railway Station Erfurt

Railway Station Erfurt – Photo Credit: Wikipedia.og

Eventually my host family was able to contact an uncle of mine in Erfurt. He and his wife took me in and my life began to normalize again. I loved the family, the school and the beautiful city. However, I often wondered where my parents and siblings might be. My mother and the two youngest brothers were finally located. In the meantime the two older brothers also arrived in Erfurt. And it was decided that Adolf and I were to join Mother in southwest Germany. The necessary papers arrived and we were on our way. The train took us close to the border and we walked the rest of the way. Two Russian border guards saw us coming and questioned us. After studying our valid papers allowing us to pass, they just tore them up. We were stunned at such injustice, after all we were 15 (Adolf) and 13 years old myself. The soldiers shooed us off, one of them pointing at his gun, in case we had any ideas of returning. We left seeking shelter behind a haystack and began to weigh our options on what to do next. Adolf wanted to return to Erfurt, but I would have none of it. I picked up my stuff carefully avoiding the guardhouse. Now a steady rain had begun. Soon I heard my brother’s footsteps behind me and I was much relieved. I don’t remember how long we walked. It seemed like a long time. By the time we got to a small railway station, we were exhausted, yet very much relieved that we were in the West. Two French border guards approached us demanding to see our papers, – no wonder, we looked like runaways. Adolf handled the situation quite well and we were allowed to board the train,

Nuernberg_Burg_Panorama_PtGUI

Nuremberg Castle – Photo Credit: Wikipedia.og

In Nuremberg we found the Red Cross Refugee Camp, where we received food and shelter. As we were out of money, discussing our next move, a woman interrupted us handing Adolf a bill that would cover our train fare to Meßkirch. Several kilometers more on foot and we arrived in Rohrdorf. What a relief for all of us to join our mother and the two youngest brothers again after such a long separation!

Memory Fragments by Anke Schubert

Lenzen

Lenzen near Anke’s Hometown Mellen – Photo Credit: Lea@Flickr

Reflections on Early Childhood Memories

Anke Schubert (Chart II a – IV)

Translated by Peter Klopp

Do you feel the same as I do? The older you get, the more in your memories you return to your childhood years. That’s at least how it is with me, especially now that the children have grown up and are taxing my physical and mental strength around the clock any more. Thoughts are stirring, nostalgic and regretful at times, because happy days, familiar places and dear people are gone forever, but I am also filled with joy, because they were once present way back in long-gone times.

Actually I thought that I would remember next to nothing at all about my earliest childhood. But sometimes and quite suddenly like out of the blue a memory shoots through my mind, a piece of the past, an event of my childhood, often only a single image without any connection. The more these ‘memory fragments’ go back in time, the smaller, the more scattered they appear to be. Yet, as the thoughts travel back more frequently, other thoughts rise and flash on my inner horizon. Often I no longer know how they are connected. In fact, it is next to impossible to maintain a reliable sequence of the fragments in my early childhood memories.

But that is actually not so important.I simply try to nail down a few of these fragments, before they vanish forever into the abyss of eternal darkness. There are some events, which I no longer know or cannot know at all, because they happened before I was born, for example, how my parents got to know each other. These things I will draw from old letters and later down the road from my old journals. Who knows there might be somebody somehow involved here, who might add something to whom I may pass on to read the rough copy of my scribbles. They may perhaps contribute a couple of their own memories to turn the individual fragments into a cohesive picture of my – or much better – of our childhood in Gulow and in Mellen.

The P. and G. Klopp Story

Report by Gerhard (Gerry) Klopp – Chart I – III

1942 -1944 Gutfelde

A safe heaven for family and friends from threats of enemy bombings and other calamities

Refugees 1945

Refugees Fleeing from the Advancing Red Army 1945

Recall Karl’s visits. December 1944. We sat in a “bunker” that Karl built from scrap lumber and card board. He posted a picture of Rommel and told me about all his victories. We now know how Rommel died and why. Around Christmas time the family set around a small table with a small squeaky radio listening to Hitler’s last big gamble on the western front. The Battle of the Bulge. German tank units had smashed through the Ardennes forest and were headed to the coast cutting off all allied supply lines. Victory was our fearless leader’s Christmas gift to us. Karl: ”Mensch Pose. Wir gewinnen den Krieg”.

Again. We know how that went. Karl quickly rounded up boys and girls and organized war games, which would replicate those German victories and more to come. In order to keep up the high moral he instituted a system of executing deserters and cowards. To facilitate this he needed an example of what happened to such bad Germans. He convinced me to become an actor and become the first to be shot. He used an older army rifle and some carbide explosive to scare forced onlookers to witness my execution. As told, the bang occurred, I dropped to the ground. Onlookers ran screaming into the house. End of my acting career.

Recall a party our father put on for a group of volunteers from the Dutch speaking part of Belgium. They were eager to fight for Germany against the communist menace. They sang German war songs and enjoyed their good times. Likely their last one as well.

Christmas 1944 was still a lavish one. Huge tables set with gifts and all sorts of chocolate and cakes. Last of the good times. Shortly after, frantic packing and loading of wagons. Had no idea what this was all about. Thought this was great fun or some other entertainment. Father as ordered or expected by our glorious leader stayed behind. On the urging of our Polish friends advising: ”We know you, others do not” did he load up his one horse-drawn four-seater wagon. Beautifully decorated and with pneumatic tires. On his way to find us, he picked up 3 recently orphaned children by the side of the road. Their father was killed in the war and their mother shortly before the order came to flee to the west. Our mother now had 5 children to care for. Seemingly endless rows of wagons. Some motorized soon to be abandoned by the side of the road or simply broken down during very severe weather and road conditions. Not sure if we made 29 km a day. Food and fresh water often impossible to get. First some babies died to be buried by their mothers by the roadside in the snow. The sick and elderly soon followed. We were lucky. Our horseman and driver was experienced and knew the countryside well and most drivable side roads.

Mother and Children

Mother and Children

Father must have discussed that with him as he did meet up with us at a remote country location. Some days later we ended up at a large farm overrun with refugees from all over. Dead tired, I fell asleep in a haystack. Next morning as I awoke I realized that I was separated from all my family. Seemingly hundreds of people were running around looking for toilettes, water, food or a way to get moving west. I was terrified and lost. It was here in all the confusion Father appeared. Our good Polish friend and driver of our wagon urged us on as the presence of Russian tanks was heard all around us. Our next stop was at a remote small farm owned by a local forester. The owner Mr. Novac discussed what to do. Novac suggested to remain at his place together and to outwait the war. Still east of the Oder River, our chances of making it across alive were slim. Our good Polish horseman and wagon commander Wurblewski, likely spelled wrong, insisted on living in his own quarters. A small house on a top of a hill. We stayed with our family in the forester’s home.

Russian T34 Tank

Russian T34 Tank

Situated at the bottom of a small valley. At night we heard gunfire. Did not make much of it, as it was now a common occurrence. Early next morning an exited and distraught Wurblewski knocked on our door holding his beautiful huge fur coat, his prize possession, up for us to see. A large hole in the middle of the coat. Clearly, a gun shell had smashed through the house barely missing the sleeping man. Father had to reassure him that we all are very happy that our chief navigator is still alive. On another day Russian soldiers with horse-drawn wagons showed up. They were confused and lost. They asked a Polish speaking elderly farm employee for directions. A boy about my age, possibly a relative of the farm woman was talking to the Russians. He hopped on the wagon and they departed in a hurry. Not knowing what it was about, I ran after the wagon hoping to go along for the ride. A Russian sitting on a bench facing backwards raised his gun and pointed it straight at me. Heard a click. I froze. Just stood there. He put his gun down and sternly waved pointing to the farmhouse. I ran as fast as an Olympic runner. Not certain if just another rumor. Very common under the circumstances. The boy was never seen again. Heard later that the boy led the Russians into an ambush. All were killed. German soldiers often separated from their units continued to harass the Russians behind the front lines. Some would visit our farm at night in search of food and other supplies. Few days later more Russians arrived. They ordered us out at gunpoint.

Being Brutally Resettled 1946

Being Brutally Resettled 1946

Burnt the complex down. We were once again homeless, cold and had nowhere to go. Not certain how we got to the next village intact. Our mother forever worried what may have happened to her two sons in Belgard. A city where they were boarding with friends in order to attend schools not available near Gutfelde. Her only daughter Erika was boarding with relatives in Silesia. Mother packed us up and took a train though Russian occupied territory to Belgard. The three orphans father had added to our family were still with us. The Meisner family, where both Karl and Adolf were boarding took us gladly in. But the reason for our journey was to be reunited with Karl and Adolf. They had left some time earlier to avoid the Russians advancing on Belgard. Their Odyssey is described with Karl’s report. Hope to remain in Belgard to await final outcome of the war ended when the Russian administration decided to deport us west. First to a camp in Stettin. They made us walk miles through snow-covered trails. Any luggage we could no longer carry was simply thrown away. We were then shipped in boxcars to a refugee camp in Schleswig-Holstein.

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