My mothers experience in occupied Germany

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kathy
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My mothers experience in occupied Germany

Post by kathy » 15 Dec 2012 01:36

I was there as a child '56--'60.

Mother had spent 3 weeks or so in an M.P. makeshift jail in Bavaria--probably June '45. She'd been released from aufseheren duty at a stalag to the east. The Russians were approaching. Since she didn't talk about it, I have to guess it was in the area of stalag 17B. Back in Bavaria, after the defeat she was taunting some US soldiers from an upstairs window, hurling insults she'd learned from POW's of several countries. She was arrested. Six months later she was pregnant by an american G.I. and anxious to get out of Germany. She passed her background investigation to become a warbride. I guess they had bigger fish to fry . . .

I remember there were so many who got around on skateboards for legs . . . .

I remember being spit at by old men who resented americans who took their daughters away . . . .

My sister wrote me this memory about an event in '60:

It was the end of 9th grade for
me--and I knew we'd be returning to the US by November. So... the 5 of us
decided to dress a little oddly (like poor Germans of that time).
We wanted to go downtown and see the May Day parade. It was on a
Sunday... and wouldn't you know it-- that U2 spy plane was shot down over
Russia in the early hours of May 1. Alerts went out all over the post.
No one was to leave. It was like an fu***** red alert! Well, the 5 of us got
together--never imagining that anyone would be upset with Americans. [This
was the Cold War-- many Germans definitely saw Americans as "occupiers."]
...but we really wanted to see the floats. We walked down in front of the building
towards the "A" end, snuck down the hill and into the bushes. We made a pact
that we would't speak one word--lest they figure out were were Americans.
We were very lucky. There was float after float--which they must have built in
a hurry-- of Pres. Eisenhauer hanging in effigy, and floats with cardboard replicas
of the shot-down plane, and chants about death to America. I think we stayed all
of 25 minutes, and then raced the 20 minutes back to the post, back under the
fence. (Bushes on the German side also) We never told anyone--believing that we
or our fathers would all be court-martialed.
The other cool thing I remember was Fraulein Hödler, the German teacher, was
fired from the school for teaching us a Nazi song. She must have been still
pissed about the war.

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Annelie
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Re: My mothers experience in occupied Germany

Post by Annelie » 15 Dec 2012 18:16

Thanks Kathy, Interesting.

Lots of Deutsch Fräulein married allied troops.
Some actually were in love with them.
I know many whom were/was happily married all these years.
Some married for a better life.

I remember there were so many who got around on skateboards for legs . . . .

I remember being spit at by old men who resented americans who took their daughters away . . . .

Those were difficult times.

kathy
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Re: My mothers experience in occupied Germany

Post by kathy » 16 Dec 2012 01:44

Back to the topic, I believe that my mother, along with thousands of others simply reverted to being civilians. When she was jailed, I believe it was as a civilian and that she was confined within someone's house. She said that the old hausfrau gave her a much needed de-lousing. Does anyone else have any insight as to whether or not what she told me seems plausible? I mean why would anyone be looking for an aufseheren who'd been released from active duty two and a half months before the defeat? Don't you think there were alot of people that were able to just walk away?

Kathy

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ReinhardH
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Re: My mothers experience in occupied Germany

Post by ReinhardH » 16 Dec 2012 09:05

tell us more 8O

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Annelie
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Re: My mothers experience in occupied Germany

Post by Annelie » 16 Dec 2012 15:09

Kathy,

You are very lucky that your Mother opened up to you about what she went through
during those times. Most people of Mothers who went through that time say their Mothers
won't even talk about it, and if they do its only a few general words..
They say it was so horrible what they saw and had to do etc. that all they want to do is forget
the whole thing.
The soldiers were shocked by the change in the amount of food available to the civilian populations. The Dutch were starving and yet a few miles away German homes had food aplenty.
Blame the side that stole food from the Dutch to feed themselves.
This isn't what the topic is about and I don't see any reason why you would change it?
If you think the German people few miles away had food aplenty (your words) then start another
topic. And, perhaps find proof of what you stated.

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Marcus
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Re: My mothers experience in occupied Germany

Post by Marcus » 16 Dec 2012 16:09

Several posts were split off into a new thread entitled "Treatment of German POWs in the US Rhinelagers".

/Marcus

kathy
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Re: My mothers experience in occupied Germany

Post by kathy » 16 Dec 2012 17:56

Thank you Marcus! I do not believe mother was a POW and I know nothing about the Dutch hunger.

Annelie, my mother did not say much--mostly just about her release and her travel back to the Rhein, which she said was by horse drawn wagon which dropped off her friends one by one. She was the last, but she said she could not get across from Mannheim to Ludwigshafen. I think she was able to contact her family, but I do not know how. I think the bombing was pretty heavy there, so she then went back to stay with a cousin which would've been either Regensburg or Passau, where she was jailed. To get there she hopped a train and stole a bike and when there was no rubber left she traded it for a crust of bread. That's pretty much all she said, except that the german POW camp was where she learned to cuss in so many languages.

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Annelie
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Re: My mothers experience in occupied Germany

Post by Annelie » 16 Dec 2012 18:09

Kathy, I guess then she is just like the thousands of others who find it too painful
to remember. However, there are many personal accounts around which I read
where you can actually get an idea of what they went through. Its hard I know, to
get specific information, tried this with my Mother but to no avail. She just starts
to get upset so I let it go. But, like you I like to know more.

Perhaps your Mother has family of which you can glean more information if they
are willing?

kathy
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Re: My mothers experience in occupied Germany

Post by kathy » 16 Dec 2012 19:03

They're are all dead except for one of her cousins who was born just after the war started. I am thinking about contacting him as he did live with oma & opa for several years before he married.

The last of the family name was put in the ground a couple of weeks ago. He and his wife adopted her sisters' two children, half-grown (don't know what happened to their parents) but they kept their last name and added his last name with a hyphen. The family name in that village went back to 1750.

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Annelie
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Re: My mothers experience in occupied Germany

Post by Annelie » 16 Dec 2012 19:15

At least you have some option there with the last of your family..
But, its good your going to give it a shot.

Sorry to hear of the loss of your family.
Its sad to see family go, they can't be replaced.

kathy
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Re: My mothers experience in occupied Germany

Post by kathy » 19 Dec 2012 10:31

Sorry, there's no more to tell. I wish I could've gotten her to say more. I have tiny little fragments of information that may or may not be relevant. She had boots and belt that I'd always thought were part of her uniform, but they were brown. Should they have been black? I don't know. She was shoot the balls off a mouse at 500 yards. Is that relevant? I don't know.

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Re: My mothers experience in occupied Germany

Post by David Thompson » 19 Dec 2012 17:19

Three no-content commentary posts from ReinhardH, which added nothing of informational value to the discussion, were removed by this moderator - DT.

mikel
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Re: My mothers experience in occupied Germany

Post by mikel » 20 Dec 2012 00:33

I think it is oppressive to limit such a broad subject to limited context.

All is history and all is interesting to those of us who read it
You open a topic on such an encompassing subject, you'd best accept a bit of rambling.

Anyways an interesting book is "Ruins of THe Reich" from the 80s as I recall.

It is very informative from the German and well as the allied points of view.

It deals a lot with personal as well as reconstructive issues.

A big deal was the returning German GIs had nothing and few prospects.
There was much bitterness and dissent regarding girls going with and marrying Americans.

There were several "war brides" in my small midwest hometown.

My cousin was married to an Alsacian. A German always sneered that she was really German but would not admit it.

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Marcus
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Re: My mothers experience in occupied Germany

Post by Marcus » 22 Dec 2012 12:15

An opinion post by ReinhardH was removed.

Please note that this thread is specifically about the experiences of Kathys mother, not experiences of others.

/Marcus

kathy
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Re: My mothers experience in occupied Germany

Post by kathy » 02 Jan 2013 23:20

Father was transferred back to Germany shortly after his return to the U.S. from Korea. Mother had taken to partying while he was in Korea. That did not stop when we arrived in Tolz. Father's post had a GAO inspection. The books father got upon his arrival had too many missing pages. Mother was able to find where the goods were being sold on the black market--the base commander's girlfriend, etc. That got us a transfer closer to oma & oma.

Not long after that opa showed up one day on post to straighten out his daughter. He & oma and mother & I went to his sister-in-laws & nieces house in a little village that time had forgotten. It was arranged that I would spend school holidays there. Mother dropped me off and picked me up but never really socialized. I had to get used to the outhouse and newspaper for tp. To get milk we went with the milk can to the cow barn down the street. At the butcher & baker, I'd always get tasty samples. There was no phone, no tv. At summer's end we hitched the ox to the wagon and road to our plot in the fields--to pick tobacco. That, we strung into hula skirts and tied a little loop at each end of the strings. In the morning, we'd pile the skirts back onto the wagon and take them to our bin in the community drying house. The little loops on the end of each strand were to hang the strands from nail to nail.

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