My grandmother worked at Küstriner Platz, Berlin...

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AdrianBrooks
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My grandmother worked at Küstriner Platz, Berlin...

Postby AdrianBrooks » 03 Jan 2011 12:11

Hello. I'm new to this forum. I've recently been talking to my grandmother (born 1923) about her time during the war. She was moved from Bad Lippspringe to Berlin to work as a Luftwaffe secretary (but assigned to a Major Howart) at a place she calls Küstriner Platz, near the banks of the Spree and close to the Zoo. Apparently, she worked in the map rooms there up until the end of the war. When the officers and men deserted the place, she and four colleagues decided to walk back home to Bad Lippspringe (the other girls were from Paderborn, but Paderborn had been decimated, so they had no homes to go back to).
Does anyone know anything about Kustrine? I can't find any references to it at all, except for a town now situated in Poland.
I realise that Gran's memories maybe a little mixed after all these years, but when I speak to her, she sound like she recalls events as if they only took place yesterday. Any replies gratefully received.

Adrian

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Heimatschuss
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Re: My grandmother worked at Küstriner Platz, Berlin...

Postby Heimatschuss » 03 Jan 2011 22:03

Hello Adrian,

:welcome:

I suspect that her office was at Küstriner Platz in Berlin-Friedrichshain (today Franz-Mehring-Platz). That's about 600 metres north of the Spree. Unfortunately, it's more than 7 km to the zoo from there. Perhaps your grandmother wasn't thinking of the Berlin zoo but of the Tiergarten district where the zoo occupies just the SW corner. The eastern end of Tiergarten (literally: animal park, though it's been a normal park for centuries) is just about 4 km away from Küstriner Platz. In German there's no clear distinction between Zoo and Tiergarten.

Perhaps some Luftwaffe experts can tell you something about Luftwaffe offices in the area of Küstriner Platz.

If the location is correct you granny may perhaps recall the big 'Plaza' vaudeville theatre on Küstriner Platz, a former train station.
http://www.epilog.de/Berlin/Eisenbahn/K ... 001066.htm

Hope this is of some help.
Torsten

AdrianBrooks
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Re: My grandmother worked at Küstriner Platz, Berlin...

Postby AdrianBrooks » 04 Jan 2011 20:23

Thank you Torsten. That was very helpful! Thank you for the image link too.
When I asked Gran about the Plaza, she remembered! She was employed there from 1944 until the end of the war. She also added that the officers used to frequent Cafe Kranzler.
In addition, she remembers that there were five women who worked as assistants or secretaries to Wehrmacht officers, although, for some reason, she and her colleagues wore Luftwaffe uniforms. There were 25 other women who were assigned to ammunition manufacturing on the same site. She recalls that they made Panzerfaust there. The building had two storeys and their accommodation was in the same block. Unfortunately, gran recalls those 25 women being killed in a bombing raid, leaving just her and four colleagues alive. While sitting in a grass-covered bunker outside the building, they decided they would walk home to Bad Lippspringe (320km), fearful of the advancing russians. While walking home (in a change of clothing), she recalled the fallen soldiers by the side of the road, identifying them by their helmets. She pushed a pram that was given to them in which they carried canned food.

I'm hoping to create a video diary in order to try and capture as much of gran's memories as possible. She was married in 1953 to British army officer and was therefore not allowed to relate her experiences to anyone. My grandfather passed away a few years ago, so only recently has she been able to relate her experiences.

propwash
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Re: My grandmother worked at Küstriner Platz, Berlin...

Postby propwash » 04 Jan 2011 22:22

A Grand Lady......Please thank her for sharing her memories with us.People of that time are going so fast.

AdrianBrooks
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Re: My grandmother worked at Küstriner Platz, Berlin...

Postby AdrianBrooks » 05 Jan 2011 19:17

Thanks propwash. I'll pass on your thanks to her. She is indeed a Grand Lady! :-)
Would anyone suggest I move this thread to another section in order to obtain any relevant information surrounding the Küstriner Platz location and the work that would have gone on there?

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Heimatschuss
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Re: My grandmother worked at Küstriner Platz, Berlin...

Postby Heimatschuss » 05 Jan 2011 23:53

Hello Adrian,

presumably the Luftwaffe moved into the Plaza building just after the theatre had been closed in September 1944. There was a general ban on all theatres due to the catastrophic manpower situation after the defeats of summer 1944. This may make it very hard to find information from Luftwaffe files. As Berlin was reduced to rubble more and more the offices kept moving on and on and many files also got lost in 1945.

Perhaps details of what your grandmother did with those maps may help. Was this just putting together batches of maps other Luftwaffe offices had ordered or did she draw maps herself? What kind of maps were that? General topographical maps, special aviation maps, detailed maps of air bases and the like? Anything about her work may contain a clue on the office.

Best regards
Torsten

AdrianBrooks
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Re: My grandmother worked at Küstriner Platz, Berlin...

Postby AdrianBrooks » 15 Jul 2014 23:56

Hi Tors ten,
Additional information - the building had many people, mostly women, covering three floors.Top floor was for the senior staff (Major Howart (?), Luftwaffe. First floor had the telephone operators. Ground floor had the maps. My gran used to position and mark the locations of inbound enemy aircraft on the large maps. She remembers the British aircraft passing over in groups of five.
Gran also remembers the bunker as having a grass covered roof with "open sides". Inadequate protection, as a bomb landed on the bunker, killing 25 women's leaving five alive. ,
I'm wondering if this command centre had any connection with the Flaktürme in the Volkspark Friedrichsheim, which was Luftwaffe manned? The supposed location of Gran's office in Küstriner Platz would place it quite close?

blazer1622
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Re: My grandmother worked at Küstriner Platz, Berlin...

Postby blazer1622 » 16 Jul 2017 21:34

Hi Adrian - my grandmother and mother were born and lived in Küstrin up until the time they had to flee because of the invasion. Grandmother names is Edith Hiller born 1922. My mums name is Heidimaree. I have just started to research the area and have ordered a book called Siege of Kustrin 1945 Gateway to Berlin (9780811708296) Paperback / softback Tony Le Tissier.


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