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See also The day before the beginning of the escape.
My mother, Lina Preuß, née Mattern from Kranthau has recorded the escape diary every day per pencil entry in several exercise books. In Bad Salzdetfurth she then has transferred and described these records on typewriter pages from the 21.01.1945 to the 25.03.1945.
||Jan||21 22 23 24 24a 25 26 27|
|Feb||18 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28|
|Mar||01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31|
|Apr||01 02-10 08 09 10 11 13 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 23 25 26 27 28 29|
|May||12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 21 23 24 25 27 28 29 31|
|Jun||01 03 06 10 12 13 22|
|Aug||07 23 24 26 30|
|Oct||09 17 24 27|
|1946||Jan||13 17 29|
|Feb||01 08 09 18|
The escape began on Sunday, the 21. January 1945 at 10 o’clock in the morning from our home village Kranthau, Post Horn, district Mohrungen/East Prussia.
A working cart with roof from canopies, loaded with only what is absolutely necessary articles of clothing, food and beds, wool blankets, furs and very plentiful oats and clover hay for the 3 horses. Over our and neighbour Steckel’s field to the main road. The road further to Mohrungen; at the exit wanted in direction Maldeuten. There everything was already blocked with treks. To Mohrungen it is about 7 km. We travelled together with my sister Emma Weiß und her daughters Charlotte and Regina.
On our wagon were except me still my mother Wilhelmine Mattern, née Weiß, born 1.2.1872 in Himmelforth, widow of my father, the farmer Leopold Mattern, born 13.4.1862 in Kranthau. The farm had then a size of far over 200 acres. After a fire on the 9. August 1904, where all buildings in the village had burned down, land had to be sold, because money was necessary for the building up of 4 new buildings on the field area. My father died on the 17.7.1926 in Kranthau of embolism. He had never been ill before. My mother died on the 11.11.1948 in Bad Salzdetfurth of heart failure. She also had never been much ill.
Except of my mother were our three children Ellinor, Irene and Frank-Leopold and the Pole Peter Goreci on the wagon, therefore 6 people. Peter Goreci was c. 4 years before as foreign worker already active on our farm. Peter and I took turns on the 10 weeks escape with horse steering; he so helped me with this very much, to bring my family to Bad Salzdetfurth, despite Peter having in Poland himself a small farm, wife and children. With great gratitude he is remembered at this point.
Since to the direction Maldeuten the road was blocked, we travelled further over Hagenau. Since the road was partly highly snow-covered, partly as smooth as glass, we only progressed very slowly. In Hagenau we have stayed overnight for the first time with a farmer.
Monday, 22.01.1945 in the morning we travelled on to Löpen. Here was my older sister Grete married to Richard Gehrmann since 1921 on a farm. They have 4 children: Waltraud, Dorothee, Manfred and Rudolf. Only Dorothee was at home; Waltraut being trained; both sons called up to the last action. Gehrmanns were packing. We stayed overnight there and when we wanted to travel on early Tuesday, there was high new snow. It would have been pointless wanting to travel on with wagons.
My youngest brother, Bruno Mattern, born 18.02.1918, then as soldier just on leave in Kranthau, has accompanied us on the escape to Marienburg/West Prussia, where he as soldier again got into action. With our third horse as saddle-horse he has from Löpen often again got the trek of now 3 families back on the road – organized sleighs in the deserted village Löpen, partly coupled two together, and we transferred from wagons to sleighs.
I forgot to mention that since autumn 1944 at our place evacuated Mrs Lydia Schobert with her daughter Inge was at the same time from our farm on the 21.01.1945 with our trek to the Nogat Bridge. One also evacuated Family Kurbjuweit travelled on the same day independently further on the escape. Both families come from the East Prussian border districts.
We were nowhere near finished with the transferring, there we heard already gun fire from nearby. Now in addition to food also valuable furs and other warm things were left. In greatest haste horses were harnessed before the sleighs, children quickly warmly packed, departed. Mrs Schober only owned one horse and to Löpen had our third horse with hers hitched up. As from Löpen she then drove the sleigh also organized for her one-horse. Gehrmanns drove as well two heavily laden working carts drawn by two horses, one Richard steered, the other Dorothee. Gehrmanns still had Mrs Hedwig Janzen, Richard’s sister, with children on one of their wagons. Later they have dropped the same off somewhere, I believe in Wiesenthal.
From Löpen therefore 6 sleighs were on our family trek: Preuß, Weiß, Schober each one and three Gehrmann. That morning we have had no time to eat. At the departure the tongue stuck to the palate. I was glad that I had my family around me.
Tuesday, 23.01.1945. In the morning we departed from Löpen in the greatest hurry. As there was good sleigh path, it now went quickly onwards to Reichenbach. Here we now heard gun fire from the other side. For that reason we now did not travel as planned over Christburg-Stuhm, but direction Posilge, through the flats past Markushof. Enormous treks from all ways approaching the main road. This sight provoked a quite peculiar feeling. Quite small fodder break for the horses, then again farther on empty ways, but which Bruno knew quite well from his apprenticeship as gardener in Marienburg. He had to fetch much fir green during this apprenticeship. We almost met nobody on this route. The sleighs glided soundlessly in the soft snow. The horse hoofs were hardly heard; sleigh bells we had none. It was brightest moonshine. Un-earthly, unreal it seemed to us, this silence. In spite of highest strain of the nerves I once shouted to Mrs Schober: "Don’t we make a strangely delightful sleigh ride?"
In Markushof it probably was, where we got much good clover hay from good people. The sleighs were just too small to take enough with one. So I have put a layer of clover as smoothly as possible behind the front seat, where mother, Peter and I sat; the 3 children close by on top of it, covered with clover and tied a cord over it, because it was very narrow. In spite of it I always had one hand behind and counted constantly one, two, three, so that indeed none got lost.
After 18 hours of this journey we put in at Marienburg. At 3 o’clock at night to Wednesday, 24. January, to Bartels courtyard. This was a neighbour courtyard of Bruno Neumann’s business property. Bruno Neumann had a house property with cigar specialist shop. In August 1927 he had married my older sister Ida. This last, at least 70 km long distance was only thanks to the fact that we had taken this young third horse, our "Pierrot" — it had never gone before a wagon or under a rider. Nevertheless brother Bruno had ridden it and cleared the road for us on the distance from Löpen to Reichenbach.
All other treks were on the way with wagons and hardly made progress, because it was slippery and full of snow. Shortly before driving into Marienburg, Bruno was taken away by the military from our trek, since he was recognized as soldier by the Wehrmacht through the wearing of his military boots and was to be in the fighting troops. About a night he had spent sitting on a chair there, then he made himself scarce and caught a saddle-horse standing outside at the rein; it came with and he rode further to Bruno Neumann’s house in Marienburg in the 523 Elbing Str.
Gehrmann's cottager woman Kunkel from Löpen was put on the train in Marienburg and one sleigh of Gehrmanns uncoupled. Richard Gehrmann always drove ahead as first vehicle; I always as the last and made the rear-guard until the end.
At Brodsende or Posilge, at a crossroads, we met veterinary surgeon Major Jäschke from Mohrungen, very well known to me, who had the assignment with some soldiers to bring a remonte (young horses) depot over the Weichsel River.
Wednesday early, 24.01.1945, at 6:30 o’clock from Marienburg farther over the Nogat Bridge through the city Marienburg. Behind the city the road became the longer the worse. In Kalthof we simply broke down; with sleighs it did not go on. A road officer said: "In 10 minutes you must go on or are overturned into the ditch at the side of the road; the road must remain free!"
Sister Emma came to me: Give me enough cigarettes; I go and try to get a wagon for you and for me. You meanwhile watch also out for my wagon and my children.
So it also happened. Two wagons, unfortunately much smaller than ours from Kranthau. We transferred. On Emma’s wagon much of Gehrmann’s and Janzen’s things were loaded. Then Richard Gehrmann had been able to organize a big rack-waggon for himself and loaded everything of his on. Grete travelled on with one sleigh with 2 horses.
This great 20 hour long journey through the lowland and over the great Weichsel River Bridge, was such a great strain for horses and men, which is not describable at all. At night we had at least 20o frost!
This was the night from the 24th to the 25th of January. Uninterruptedly 2 rows, at times 3 rows of treks rolled; one row military, tanks, prisoners, remonte (young horses) depots etc. out of the province East Prussia and one row, mainly military also still again back. Hardly believable, but it was so. At least in places the bridge or the street was then before or behind so wide. Gehrmann’s sleigh was almost once run over.
Since our present wagon was not prepared for such tour – hand high ice layer on the wooden floor, which Peter prised away with axe – one wagon wheel was at a standstill directly on the bridge. Fortunately we had rescued, with the transferring from wagon to sleigh and from sleigh to wagon some tools and also cart-grease. But how grease in this situation? Cigarettes were again my recue. How nice that mother Wilhelmine and I had not filled before our smoker’s allocation with smoke and Walter was also no strong smoker. Asked some fleeing soldiers on foot for help very humbly; given cigarettes. So they helped Peter and me, mother took the lead – with the help of God we also managed that.
Still another incident is not to remain unmentioned: At sister Edith’s wedding some bottles of alcoholic drinks were left over; we took them along. Mother Wilhelmine had known to date to protect them from freezing. One great bottle ink got frozen; contents had left their mark over linen etc. The alcoholic drinks have rescued us from a freezing to death in various ways. It was also on this bridge: I could and could no longer keep myself awake; smoked the second cigarette of my life – the first in the vicarage Kalff, when Johannes Kalff, our then pastor, was probably the last time on leave – Dorothee turns around and shouts quite loud: Mummi, mummi, Aunt Lina smokes!
In the morning at 4 o’clock we arrived at Baldau and just wanted whatever happens sleep a little. In a Russian dump made hot coffee, eaten a little bit – then it is said, "the Russian comes!, Advances from further down south!" Therefore no sleep, no rest. Again loaded, again farther. Blasting and canon thunder was heard nearby. Therefore immediately again farther, it went very, very slowly, since very mountainous and very slippery. Only few kilometre and we turned off left at the side to a farm. We drank coffee, milk; ate and travelled in the dark through Dirschau. Sought accommodation behind the town. For men is was partly possible. Drove wagons together; horses bound around the wagons – a so-called circle of wagons. Grandmamma with the three children slept on our wagon. Peter, Grete and I kept watch the whole night alternately. This night another refugee woman pushed off with Grete’s coffee schilling box. Grete notices something like this; ran after her and snatched the box out of her claws. Children rigid in the morning of cold. At 5 o’clock I took all up into a misery room, where a good woman served us hot potatoes boiled in their skin and we probably had with it from our butter taken along - hot potatoes boiled in their skin, a gift of God! Our landlady undeterred boiled hot coffee, our mouths were burned out.
On the 26.01.1945 about 7 o’clock we again joined the trek wagons on the country road, mostly still again several rows of treks. Progress was very slow, since there was constant stop. Yesterday before, on and after the Weichsel River Bridge always alternately few hours stopped. When we had to change our wagon wheel, there were just quite short stop pauses and it was very difficult. – We turned right into a side street, which was not so used; immediately after that found larger farm; stopped for a break; made coffee; eaten. Richard potatoes, sauce, meat; grandmamma potatoes and sauce eaten on the wagon.
After two hours break farther. Places, which were left by the inhabitants and strongly occupied with military. Dorothee’s sleigh transferred in black wagon, since sleigh-run was completely finished.
In the next place was much military. At the end of the next place the military gave a room to us; we all into it; 21 persons and Peter in the stable. I kept night watch at the wagons with Dorothee until 24 o’clock; then changing. This was the night from Friday, 26.01. to Saturday, 27.01.1945.
Saturday, 27.01.1945 early it goes on; now always uphill, because the Danzig Hill came, with snow weather started. Actually there was already high snow and it seemed hopeless to still travel very far. Everywhere we asked for accommodation – everything taken. Wagons stood at every smallest house. Courage sank under zero. At last a constable. Richard asked him and immediately turned right. It went to Wiesenthal near Lemberg over Praust, Danzig Land.
I got accommodation with Mayor Krisin; Gehrmanns the kitchen next door. Emma Weiß found accommodation with Zeller.
Three weeks forced rest in Wiesenthal until Sunday, 18.02.1945, only then it went on. The metres high snow allowed no traveling on and all of us were exhausted.
18.02.1945. Departure from Wiesenthal early at 9 o’clock over Trockenhütte and Berent. C. 3km before Berent met and spoken to Road Officer Mr Basner from Herzogswalde.
It now went through fighting area, therefore everything there was vacated and no accommodation to get. Therefore we had to trek through to Bütow. There despite infinite efforts no accommodation, neither for horses nor for men! First cold food received from an office. Grete here very ill; I had her on the arm, gone from house to house with her, to at least to get a beer room with a couple of chairs put together – nothing! At night kneeled in the wagon, since not all had place in the wagon to sleep.
Tuesday, 20.02.1945. Early at 5 o’clock I mobilized all; fed horses; had breakfast on NSV and travelled on at 7 o’clock in the morning – despite Richards refusal, he first wants to bring the horses for warming up in the now empty stables and depart very much later. The others then still also followed. Departure direction Zuckers.
At 8:30 o’clock with very bad roads, ½ m deep potholes, ice roads etc., bad progress – bang – bang – bang – bombs on Bütow; 9 o’clock once again. I turn around to mother Wilhelmine: "Grandmamma, do you hear? Now they certainly would have given us also already a salon for staying overnight!" 12 o’clock bombs once again fell on Bütow – until about evening.
Trekked until 14 o’clock to Altkolziglow; night accommodation allocated in Neukolziglow. In Altkolziglow we received first warm food on the escape. In Neukolziglow very, very good accommodation with Mrs Taube in the Raiffeisen Cooperative: Nice room with two beds covered with white sheets, washing toilet, towels etc.. Very good people, received food: bread, butter, meat; horses 5 pound oats per head.
Wednesday, 21.02.1945. All wagons greased. Departure at 9 o’clock over Zuckers. Eaten lunch in Bartin: potato soup from NSV. Trekked on two km, away from main road to Zieglitz, an estate with farmers. Horses stand in shed; received generously hay. One room with straw for all persons. Grandmamma and Hilde sleep on wagon as guard. Wehrmacht was lying there; I sent Irene with big grey can for pea soup for dinner; tasted very good and was enough for all 14 persons.
Thursday, 22.02.1945. This morning my feet very dreadfully swollen. Horses today per head 7 pounds oats. Having one wheel and pole at Emma’s wagon sorted out in estate smithy and wheelwrights. Eaten broth with pieces of meat in the morning, of meat, which we received allotted in Kolziglow. Here now no allotment received for us, only for horses. Yesterday very nice day; some rain in the evening. But today again nice weather.
Shortly before our setting off on 22.02.1945 one shoe at our horse "Lora" broken, quickly still unhitched, newly shoed, then at 10 o’clock in the morning departure from Zieglitz direction Schlave. Shortly before Schlave police; counted persons: male, female, children and foreigners. In Schlave cold food received: bread, butter, liver sausage.
Then, come on to large roll road Stolp – Stettin. But was driven relatively reasonably, also not very many treks on the road; in any case no comparison with the first seven trekking days from the 21st – 27th January. In Schlave missed to fetch accommodation certificates – were now on the way almost again to receive no accommodation. In the evening 6 o’clock 2 km away from asphalt road in Göritz received very good accommodation with farmer Schmidt; Emmi’s horses with Tietz; Gehrmann’s with Beversdorf, Preuß and Weiß with Schmidt; straw camp for 7 persons. Generous blankets and beds; washed face and feet. In the evening received from NSV kitchen big can good beet soup, smaller can good milk soup, milk for children and bread. For the first breakfast for tomorrow also received immediately finished sandwiches, meat spread and lard. From Mrs Schmidt still 2 litre milk extra. Therefore all together very good breakfast and accommodation, especially horses received generously good hay and 8 pound oats. Now 20 o’clock; finished with everything; to bed, since also electric lights are not on until 9 o’clock.
Friday, 23.02.1945. With Schmidt again received generous milk, 10 pound oats more for 5 horses and still 2 bundles hay for taking away. In the morning 8 o’clock departure direction Köslin. For the first time through Zannow, a town, perhaps larger than Mohrungen. From Zannow to Köslin a one-off mountain, constantly equally rises to Köslin; here 2 hours driven through, then away direction Kolberg. First village is called Güldenhagen – here everything very full of refugees.
Horses and men must once again stay outside overnight. As in Bütow, only here still much worse, since rain and slush, at night also snow fallen. Since no longer bearable, we moved off on the
24.02. at 4 o’clock at night, after horses fed, direction Kolberg. Perhaps the worst night for me and all others also. Travelled until 9 o’clock in the morning, then accommodation on estate Timmenhagen: Very bad accommodation: Large room with much straw, 2 tables, 3 chairs, nothing else. A horror unparalleled for us. First mass accommodation for us, even so not the largest.
But what to do; had to remain there, since horses and men were after all once again fully worn out. Received cold food, self-baked old doughy bread, a little butter. Generously hay for horses, but bad cutting hay. 12 o’clock midday all lied down a little; stood up 13:30 o’clock; provided for horses, went to mayor etc.. At 16 o’clock warm food received, potatoes with sauerkraut, then lied down. Richard, Dora, Peter on wagon, all others slept in the mass accommodation. Stood up at night 3:30 o’clock; departed on 7 o’clock.
Sunday, 25.02.1945. 7 o’clock departed direction Kolberg. Travelled 3 hours completely alone without other treks, but the asphalt main road terribly worn out; so 8 km long. Driven through the edge of the main road on the right and incredible dirt on top; on the left at the edge of the main road c. ½ m high driven through and dirt unparalleled on top. The road became somewhat better. Travelled to Kolberg 19 km. Before Kolberg on the right seen airport with many planes. Siren gave alarm. We nevertheless moved up the 4 wagons in Kolberg on the pig market at the water tower; fed horses at ½ 12 o’clock lunch time.
Dora , Ellinor and I wanted to go to Gertrud Groß, 42 Havelingerplatz. On half of the way there was again alarm. We ran back and wanted to depart quickly. Card written to Gertrud Groß; put into posting box there; also still send greetings to her through old strange gentleman; he wanted to go there.
Then gone on travelling. Wanted to have night accommodation in village Spie; was not there, only after ½ 6 o’clock. Then went on side road to village Nehmer, we were also thrown out there, we again on to main road. Dora and I once again back to Spie, received accommodation slip for village Schwedt. But this village 2 km main road and 7 km bad country road, therefore carried on travelling, always farther, despite the horses being hardly able to manage any more and also we were all worn out, because on the afternoon was bad rainy weather.
25.02.1945, we arrived only very late in the evening 7 o’clock in Glansee. Still had to stop long before the village. Dora and I to the mayor, then still received accommodation for the horses, and for men finally also: Gehrmann with Haak, Preuß and Weiß with Lüdke. But horses and men received no food for 25. and 26.02. Because of the rain – nevertheless – good 45 km driven today; all sopping wet; beds and mattresses in the wagon as well. On the 26.02. still here.
Monday, 26.02.1945. Yesterday our horse Pierrot could no longer go at all, since the left back hoof completely worn down. Richard’s foal mare also ill; for that reason we were allowed to also stay here today. Pierrot got on the left back foot a horseshoe shoed; is supposed tomorrow in Treptow to get the three other hoofs.
Today midday at other woman the two soup chickens boiled and potatoes boiled in their jackets with it; marvellous lunch. In the evening still noddle soup from it. Today all wagons greased. Rained the whole day. Now 16 o’clock. Make ready sandwiches for tomorrow; sleeping and end.
Tuesday, 27.02.1945. 8 o’clock departure to Treptow, 10 o’clock there. Until 14 o’clock Master Smith Ihmke: Wagon repair, hoofs shoed: One refugee shoed our horses, who was eight days as refugee under Russians; told terrible things!
Then farther to Neu-Zapplin. With Mr Schmidt - 550 acres, mainly feeding hay, clover secure. Nice old gentleman, good landlady. Got 12 pounds apple à -,30 RM, milk generously; bought 30 eggs. Accommodation bad. I slept with 5 children in barn. Grandmother with Richard in old room. Emma, Grete, Dora, Peter on the wagons. - Wild geese flew; lark sang.
Wednesday, 28.02.1945. Slept well, departed ½ 10 o‘clock. Direction Cammin, 12 km before diverted to Stresow; cobblestone way.
In Stresow our trek with Ortsbauernführer (local farmers leader) Ziemer at 17 o’clock — only 4 farmers in the village. Farm c. 300 acres in size. Mrs Ziemer is teaching woman for apprentices; house everything in order, piped water, water-closet etc.. But we upstairs dark room with straw; only Löpen grandmother downstairs in study on couch. Dora next to her on sofa. Emma, little Hilde, Peter on wagons. Feeding kitchen here, but was not enough for us.
For that reason cooked here in the house: potatoes boiled in their jackets, beans with bacon, from us meatballs with it. Dined at table white set for a meal. After dinner very nicely talked with the lady of the house, her husband and her mother. 21:30 gone sleeping.
Thursday, 01.03.1945. Got up 6 o‘clock. At Mrs Ziemer, at the laid table, having coffee and received syrup. 2 litre milk for children, yellow beets and a couple of carrots raw for the children. Finished everything in peace, since departure today later, because Richard wants to exchange his mare highly with young for another horse. Horse exchanged in four year old black gelding and Richard still got 500 Mark and 2 centner oats added to it.
½ 11 o’clock gone on; still 8 km to Cammin. In Cammin met businessman Saath from Mohrungen. He been in Mohrungen till Monday, 22. January, evening and much still told from there, evening 8 o’clock the Russian in Mohrungen inside. Saath wanted to know that Oskar Fischer, Scheffler, Herrndörffler and Günther are away. Iffland evening 23.01. also still not away, still hung around at station etc..
In Cammin routed direction islands; at exit immediately received accommodation slip for Düssin. Received accommodation in Düssin with Mrs Schlei. Storm blows through whole house; also old house, but very nice woman and nice old granddad. Horses hay. Weiß and Preuß in one room. Immediately got potatoes boiled, goulash with it. In the evening boiled milk-soup with semolina from pure full-cream milk, tasted wonderful. Ellinor slept on sofa, the Reichau downstairs at the oven. In the other room two beds for Grandmamma and Irene, Frank-Leopold and me. Slept very well.
Friday, 2.03.1945. In the morning Grete comes, who are with Ortsbauernführer Stock in Düssin, with the news that her second mare has foaled and has a strong young foal.
For that reason we separate from Gehrmanns, who want to stay there about three days until Monday.
Our two wagons Preuß and Weiß trek alone farther. Today road almost free of treks. 14 km to Hagen; that is close before bridge before Wollin. 12:15 o’clock arrived before bridge and stood in longer trek until 13:30. I go to shortly before the bridge to the left to trek guiding office; there I was told that today no treks come over any more, because too many weak and ill horses lie on the island, for that reason only always few treks come over the bridge every day. We were guided 3,5 km away from Hagen-Wollin into accommodation to Kunow. Here into the village c. 40 wagons.
We with Ortsbauernführer Krüger in accommodation. Very big new house, water pipe, water-closet, large electric baking oven etc.. Very good accommodation. We one room together with a family from Köslin-Schlawe; there we hear tanks!
In the evening 8 o‘clock listened to Wehrmacht report in the room of Krüger: radio announcer Rosenberg says: The enemy has reached the road Schlawe-Köslin, therefore, where we travelled through before barely 8 days. Battles Mehlsack-Zinten and north-west of Königsberg!
When we arrived here, we received very soon from Mrs Krüger at the table coffee, bread, jam. In the evening beet stew and milk soup afterwards. Krüger: Two relatives, who live in a double house, double barn, the stable is still to be build, for each 140 acres middle soil, bad pastures, otherwise good middle soil, clover secure, oats, barley, everything, only wheat not so good. Looked at Krüger’s warm air heating; I thought that very nice. – The whole day very strong storm, wind force 11.
Met family Kurkowski from Taabern near Miswalde on the way, who are also quartered here in the village, think that sister-in-law Liesbeth Preuß from Kolteney with her three children also left.
Saturday, 3.03.1945. Frank-Leopold‘s birthday; he is turning 6 years old, a stick of peppermint pastilles given. Got up 5 o’clock. Apple from Aunt Emma, from mummy last small cakes from home, last juice from Wiesenthal. Got again from Mrs Krüger coffee, bread, jam and meat spread sandwiches.
First day without Gehrmanns. ½ 8 o’clock departure from Kunow. ½ 9 o’clock before the bridge before Wollin. C. 10 o’clock rolled over bridge. Trek No. 34, put together of 22 wagons; trek leader: Mr Jaeschke, Gr. Steinsdorf, district Rosenberg. Everything was all right, very reasonably driven. 26 km to village Pritter.
Kurkowski, Taabern, also in trek. One village driven through, for the first time milk soup for children from Red-Cross sisters brought to the wagon. Then bush and forest to before village Pritter. At 15:30 o’clock before village. Unharnessed, Pierrot shoe of left back hoof taken. Hoof ulcers; already everything gone septic, opened, let run out and freshly shoed. The whole day worried about Pierrot, because it was very much lame; lay down at every stop and was very tired. Then oats and oats straw fetched from other end of village. Warm food, vegetable soup. 18:30 o’clock cold food, bread, butter, meat spread received. Made sandwiches for tomorrow. At 8 o’clock in the evening to bed. Wagon on street: Grandmamma sleeps in our, Peter in the Reichau wagon. Horses in the barn. We others one room with two freshly covered beds; one for Emma, Regina, Charlotte; other for me and Frank-Leopold; Ellinor and Irene on fur blanket on floor.
Accommodation at Mrs Heppner in Kunow.
Old man said that East Prussians and Mohrunger have already trekked through here three weeks ago; also, that Hindenburg and his wife have been brought to Swinemünde. The son Hindenburg is to have trekked through here last week himself with his people. Departure tomorrow is to be at 5:30 o’clock; hopefully we do not oversleep. Today 6 km before Swinemünde rest.
Sunday, 4.03.1945. 4:30 o’clock risen; 10 minutes before 6 o’clock departure from Pritter; 2 km to the main road, shortly before stood until 9:30 o’clock, since at c. 8 o’clock a mare of trek leader Jaeschke foaled, with it back to Pritter. Jaeschke leaves trek; Kurkowski, Mohrungen, is to take over trek; is not there at departure. Therefore our two wagons Weiß and Preuß drive on alone. From Wollin to Swinemünde up to now best asphalt road travelled. Island Wollin also food better than in Pomerania. Before departure on main road still fetched warm food, proper vegetable stew with kohlrabi, carrots, celeriac etc. from kitchen help train at railway. Received 2 heads white cabbage and 7 big blue kohlrabies for raw eating. Fetched big bag potato peelings from help train for horses and immediately still fed horses with peelings.
We now stand there again 2 km before Swinemünde; as from 9 o’clock stop. 10:30 o’clock. Just one column marine soldiers marched past, shortly before they stopped singing. A hoisting crane in the snow flurry to be seen – wet snow falls for 2 hours.
From newspapers of 28.02.: Post for let back people: Wartheland, West Prussia, East Prussia and East Land belong to the district forward office Berlin. After registering with the police a notice card is sent there. Oneself sends, when one wants to be quite sure, a simple postcard to the central correspondence office of the Reichspost in Berlin with one’s old and new address.
11 o’clock hot coffee was served on wagon. Now 11:30 o’clock; we still stand, 17:30 o’clock still stand. Ellinor and I gone down to the small two ferries and looked at. There heard from the district savings bank manager from Braunsberg that the Volkssturm Mohrungen came to battle out of the Angerapp position, then withdrawn to Braunsberg; has had 12 dead; in Braunsberg the fit for military service have been added to Wehrmacht and the others have come out of the province East Prussia. Moreover talked with high navy officer and his wife longer time at the ferry about East Prussia, trek etc..
At ½ 7 o’clock in the evening a wagon with rubber tyres with pea soup drove past the constantly standing treks and handed out. – Stood 8 hours directly on one place, without it going on even one horse length. After I and also others told two passing party men and two Wehrmacht members and they went to give air, the treks started gradually to move up a little bit now and then. In spite of it only being 10 - 15 minutes on foot to the ferry, it lasted until ½ 1 o’clock at night until it was our turn. Then 22 wagons to "Alte Fähre" (Old Ferry) = railway ferry. Crossing = c. 5 minutes! But, until driven on and driven off, it lasted 1 hour, therefore until ½ 2 o’clock at night. A street soldier escorts us to the street in town. Through the streets of the town to the Reichsstraße I led the trek on foot ahead. Then it went on to Dargen to the reception camp.
Monday, 5.03.1945. In the morning at 6 o’clock on the dot arrival in Dargen. But from trek 34 only Emmi’s and my wagon and 20 wagons of trek 33. Stood from 6 – 9 o’clock in Dargen in trek office, until we received slip for the reception of oats, warm food and bread, because our trek leader Jaeschke with the trek slip had not come over with the ferry, only our 2 wagons. Kurkowski with 7 wagons from trek 34 came with the next railway ferry. These wagons arrived at 8 - ½ 9 o’clock in Dargen – at midday Jaeschke still not there. Good asphalt main road, but very slippery, since after the previous snow-rain a little bit night frost.
Here in Dargen large trek camp with barracks on large square, food received through queuing. Horses in barracks; we in children home a room with mass accommodation. In the children home also a female doctor, who has given me valerian drops, Pyramidon and Ichtholan on finger. Emma went sleeping on her wagon, since she had driven through at night for all that.
Departure Dargen Monday, 5.03. midday 2 o’clock with nice weather. From Swinemünde to Usedom it is 26.5 km. Travelled through the town Usedom to Zecherin; it lies 1 km from the main road, close before the big bridge. In Zecherin received accommodation at Troetz. Mrs Troetz, an old lady; the farmer himself still has another farm in the village. Received some milk. A room with still another family. For us 8 persons one bed, one camp-bed, one sofa and on the room floor.
Tuesday, 6.03.1945. Departure Zecherin 9 o’clock in the morning; immediately over the big Oder River Bridge. Afterwards cart stopped and children shown, how the bridge was opened and ships drove through. 9:30 o’clock farther to Anklam. At the road crossing before Anklam stood a Volkssturm man from Lötzen; conversed with him a long time.
Marching rations: received 2 spread sandwiches per person; oats for 2 days. At 16 o’clock farther to Postlow. Emmi’s landlord is called Malchow; sleeping on floor. Horses good stable and hay. I accommodation at Schroeder; grandmamma in other room on couch with beds. We with Arnswald refuges in room on floor. In the evening received good pea soup from landlady. – Leopold made a mess in his pants.
Wednesday, 7.03.1945. Slept well. Peter got pea soup; the children milk soup; we bread and coffee. Departed 9 o’clock to Altentreptow. At Mr Ludwig Groth at the beginning of the town. Horses in the stable; we slept on floor in room. Tea and loafs of bread. Emmi next door with women in room with one bed.
In Anklam received from NSV marching orders to Mecklenburg-Saxony.
Thursday, 8.03.1945. Drank coffee in the morning; then to Ortsbauernführer; nice person. Received oats for 3 days = 1 centner and 46 pounds rye straw together with chaff. Fetched two times potato peelings from NSV. Received 3 heads of cabbage. Mr Groth made his kitchen available to us; especially because of that went to eat out. Mr Groth lives on his own; also cooks for himself. Grandmamma has cooked lunch, first bread soup as starter, then braised cabbage, beef braised, potatoes with it.
Received from NSV just under 4 litre vegetable soup and 11 sandwiches for 9 persons as complete food; some milk for the child. Today we do not trek farther; only early tomorrow. In the afternoon 5 o’clock here at the stove all three, grandmamma, Emmi and I, sat together leisurely. Children at Emmi’s landlady with reading and playing. Now we have to think about dinner. Accommodation landlord is very good, Ludwig Groth, Altentreptow, Georgstraße 23, and an evacuated woman from Altdamm, Mrs Pagenfuß. In the evening braised potatoes and semolina soup.
Friday, 9.03.1945. Breakfasted well; in the morning 8 o’clock departed through Altentreptow; immediately behind the city very high mountain, asphalt, since night frost = very slippery and horses hardly came up. Shovelling men helped us pushing. Since sun was immediately shining, asphalt soft and driving was better. From Alterntreptow to Neubrandenburg 17 km. At 12:30 o’clock in Neubrandenburg, fed horses on horse market. No oats received. Received in NSV kitchen one can of pluddric beet soup and dry bread. 14 o’clock gone on, 10 km direction Neustrelitz to Groß Nemerow. There received accommodation at Allgrimm. Emmi’s horses at Witt. Carried straw and our blankets into room of Polish girl. Received 2 litre milk; cooked klunker soup; eaten dry bread. Received for horses each 4 pounds mixture and straw. Received 1½ dry bread here at baker. Woman no good accommodation landlady: For her Poles fried potatoes, fried egg, open sandwich for supper; nothing left for us. Regina today not completely in good form.
Saturday, 10.03.1945, at 9 o’clock trekked farther over Neustrelitz to little town Wesenberg. Horses all 5 in the stable at a young lady. Pushed waggon a little bit down from the street; Peter and grandmamma slept on it. All others upstairs in a room at Mrs Ehlert, car hire firm at the market. Very nice accommodation landlady, were allowed to cook downstairs in very clean kitchen in the evening and in the morning, wash ourselves etc.
By chance also met again Gehrmanns in Wesenberg, who had arrived shortly before us.
Sunday, 11.03.1945 In the morning 9:30 departed from Wesenberg; still 6 km to Zirtow. Emmi and I found accommodation with horses at Kruse in Zirtow. Mrs Kruse is a sister of Elly Mattern from Potsdam. We were here midday; today just rest a little. Gehrmanns found accommodation at neighbour Schulz. Here at Mrs Kruse received new address of my husband Walter: Volkssturmmann Walter Preuß, Feldged. Kaserne Block 11, Stube 2, 5a Neustadt, West Prussia!
Monday, 12.03.1945. Dora Gehrmann still drove yesterday evening to Mrs Brandt to Alt-Strelitz, 14 Friedrich Liszt Street; she had been in Potsdam yesterday Sunday. In Potsdam were Edith with daughter Helga and Traute, who travelled to Bad Salzdetfurth on Friday. Mrs Brandt came today in the morning to Ziertow and talked about everbody. In the morning Mrs Kruse also received a letter from Elly Mattern from Bad Salzdetfurth, which had inside a letter for us, over which we have been very pleased. Sister Ida, Georg and sister Trudel are already in Salzdetfurth. We are also to come there – but how with our two ill horses? Address: Mrs Elly Mattern c/o Gärtner Stoffregen, 20 Bad Salzdetfurth/ Hannover, Bodenburgerstr. 8.
I have still repacked my waggon; then Emmi and I washed linen, hanged; at night farther dried at stove. In the evening still everyone properly washed head and body; partly put on fresh shirts. Conversed with Mrs Brandt and Kruse until 10 o’clock; then to bed. In the afternoon Emma’s brown horse "Hanne" ill, probably from the dirty potato peelings from Wesenberg. Fed in colic powder and Glauber’s salt; had thrown itself; but became better in the evening. Braised last beef at midday; sauce and potatoes boiled in its skin. With much asking and begging some chaff and rye straw received from Mr Kruse, also potatoes for lunch and daily 2 litre milk; Grete 1 litre milk.
Tuesday, 13.03.1945. Drank coffee; everything loaded and 9 o’clock departure to Mirow. There Richards horses shoed; likewise our "Putti" and Emma’s "Liese". From midday rainy weather. In hotel "Zur goldenen Kugel" (At the golden ball) eaten a plate of cabbage soup for each 5 g fat on stamps. Grete took care of hot coffee; then travelling on to village Wipperow. We accommodation at Bänk; nice, simple people. Were to receive absolutely no accommodation here, because horse military hospital here lying – Mayor Schulz absolutely not to get to it. I then spoken with soldier; he showed us empty stable of vicarage; we drove waggons on the yard; horses unharnessed and all 10 horses brought into stable. Then mayor came and allocated to us persons private accommodation – now it suddenly worked after all, after we had given him before a good piece of our mind. I for instance asked him why he is not a soldier and that Germany can impossibly win, when such young men not soldier and can then not even being able to take care of us fleeing women and children on the street, because space is there, that I see all right. And there really was enough space there. On the vicarage yard stood a goulash cannon and Irene immediately there with big can and got it halve full; Grete hers full and we have at once eaten it nicely hot, dry bread with it, tasted wonderful. In the evening late we still receive the rest; everyone large can full, which we will warm up early tomorrow. It is now 20:30 o’clock, therefore end; still want to write to sister-in-law Elly.
Wednesday, 14.03.1945. Early ½ 7 o’clock Emma came here from her accommodation with the challenge that her horse Liese, the black one, has miss-foaled, foal dead. Because of that we remain here today and only trek farther tomorrow. Otherwise mare looks very cheerfully. Emma also ill; diarrhoea, fever, lower abdomen pain. I fetched tablets from first-aid man, 2 kinds. At midday received again good barley soup with beef from goulash cannon. Tasted very good and we have really eaten as much as we wanted. Then still went errands, milk slip, fetched milk. Fetched certificate that mare miss-foaled etc..
Richard has sold his 2 horses and black carriage for 1700 Mark, 3 big sacks bruised grain or oats, 3 sacks chaff and hay. Breast-pieces, everything sold with it, without asking us whether we need something as replacement.
It just occurred to me that today is the birthday of my mother-in-law, where may she be? It is 16:30 o’clock and I must see whether the goulash cannon has again left a little bit supper for us.
Mayor Hube and wife from Pr. Mark definitely shot dead by the Russians between 24. and 31. January 1945. Mr Turowski, evacuated from Kudauen/Liebstadt, has told this today in the afternoon.
Thursday, 15.03.1954. Received milk soup from soldiers yesterday, warmed up and made fried potatoes with it, breakfasted, packed up. Emma has our "Pierrot" hitched up and hanged on her foal mare. I still to the lake and bought fish for 3.- Mark, smaller breams. Still received from the soldiers thick noodles and taken along.
Departure 9 o’clock from Mirow to Röbel, where we arrived at 12 o’clock. Gone to trek management in "Bäuerliche Werkschule" (Farming Work School); received no trek slip! But are allowed to stay until tomorrow, since Emmi’s mare has miss-foaled yesterday: Received certificate from mayor from Wipperow and Ortsbauernführer from Röbel.
Our landlord, inn "Zur Linde", is quite good; had to immediately bring the horses into his stable, when he heard that Emma’s mare had miss-foaled; were also allowed to eat in the hotel lounge; got plate and spoon to use. We bought beer.
Grandmamma cooks and fries the fish from early today; want to eat bread with it. Here eaten cabbage soup from NSV for lunch, which was not salted at all. Received dry loafs of bread for two days. Likewise some potato peels and oats for 4 days, since received no oats the days before; chaff or straw not received!
A study opposite is allocated to us with sofa, couch and leather-arm chairs. Emmi is to sleep in the bed; the Löpeners receive another room.
We sat here in the inn "Zur Linde" in Röbel, there just come in Elimar Hopp and wife from Eckersdorf — they drive on with a pleasure coach. They have lost their Frenchmen with rack-waggon before Marienburg. They want over Dannenberg to Bremen, where their daughter has already gone by bus from Schöneck, Westpreußen – they were stuck 14 days in Schöneck.
Mrs Hopp tells that before Gollnow she has met the parents of Mrs Schirrmacher from Eckersdorf, Mrs and Mr Ziemer and Mrs Zwillus – they trekked with from the same estate on small little handcart. – Talked only 20 minutes with Hopps; they had to carry on again, since their trek only made rest here shortly. They now trek with trek Rositten, district Preußisch Holland.
Friday, 16.03.1945. Slept well; still listened to morning prayers with Mr Müller; motto: "The Lord can do great things with us". I then still wrote up in the guest book: "Knock, and it will be opened for you..." etc..
Been with Dora on feeding office, trek office NSV, received bread, oats, leave stamps for 5 children. Breakfasted and departed. Driven slowly; stopped in a village at an inn, fed horses. In the inn got pot salt potatoes cooked. Leopold, Ellinor and I gone to the estate next door: received 4 litre pea soup and 2 litre skimmed milk. When potatoes were then done, eaten lunch in inn. Got dark beer to buy. 4 litres still taken along; then farther driven to Wredenhagen.
Here only accommodation on old castle court. Horses with many others together into a barn. We slept on waggons: family Weiß, Ellinor and I and Löpeners. Grandmother and the others in entrance hall on straw, where a little stove was freshly set and we as first thing have cooked a beer soup and eaten dry bread with it.
Saturday, 17.03.1945, Wredenhagen. Rain at night; risen early in the morning at 6 o’clock; the horses got straw only. Löpener gelding ill with gland; veterinarian gave injection; after one hour checked; the horse does not feel better, therefore Gehrmanns once again remain here and we trek on alone.
Got to buy in the dairy each ½ pound butter and 2 and 3 litre milk. Milk and bread eaten for breakfast. Emmi’s brown horse "Hanne" shoed with old horseshoes, since no new horseshoes there! Also once again fixed liner and wheel. I tried, after Pritzwalk, at police station to telephone, to ask for Trudel and Traute, but got no connection. Ellinor and Irene organized hay.
Departure ½ 1 o’clock miday from Wredenhagen without Gehrmanns. Some rainy weather. 4 o’clock in the afternoon some kilometre before Wittstock. Met trek of Mrs Ida Riemer and daughter Hedwig from Neu-Dollstädt, district Pr.-Holland. They had departed from Neu-Dollstädt on 22.01.1945.
Here is the border of Mecklenburg and Brandenburg.
Arrived at ½ 5 o’clock in the afternoon in Wittstock, Mark Brandenburg. Drove both wagons on to marketplace, horses unhitched and put in stable of merchant Rohm at the marketplace. Peter slept on our wagon; the three Reichauers on theirs. We five Preußens stayed overnight at Däbel. Grandmamma on a sofa, Irene and Frank-Leopold in child’s bed, Ellinor and I in the other bed in the chamber. But everything very dirty, not nice at all, bur the people otherwise quite nice.
Befor-air-raid warning, 9 o’clock in the evening air-raid warning. Mr Däbel went outside, comes in and says, nothing can be heard of planes. Ellinor and I got up and dressed; the other three still asleep. At 22 o’clock all-clear. Grandmamma has heard nothing at all. Peter also not; all were fast asleep.
Sunday, 18.03.1945. Got up 6 o‘clock. All could breakfast in town garden at NSV: children milk, we coffee and each one sandwich liver sausage bread.
At 9 o’clock departure from Wittstock. We come through Heiligengrabe to Techow. Here Charlotte and Ellinor have organized 1 sack chaff, 1 sack hay and some oats straw. Short break for horses, then we carried on. Wind from the front, therefore very cold. Behind Wittstock shortly before 11 o’clock planes seen in the sky in incredible numbers, hundreds upon hundreds, with very thick condensation trails. Then heard bombs fall; after that seen smoke rising in different places. We come before village Kemnitz; there we cannot get in, because plane repulsion battle was up, therefore bombs dropped in large numbers; many unexploded shells, but also some fire bombs. Stable and barn in village on fire. A fire engine stands on the street with very long hose. For that reason we cannot carry on driving; go into inn and make coffee, eat piece of bread and butter with chasseur sausage, which bought the day before in Wittstock on entitlement slip for three days. Then asked for accommodation. Here for the first time the Ortsgruppenleiter directs horses and men. He is called Witte and was just at a confirmation with real coffee and cake. Driven on farm at farmer Plagmann; there the horses of the burned out farmer were in the stable, therefore daughter to the Ortsgruppenleiter, now on the farm of Plage, there great confirmation, no space for men, allocated to brick kitchen only, it very much too small! I lost my self-control and started crying. Mrs Plage drove with the bicycle to the Ortsgruppenleiter. Then cart also from this farm away and back to the beginning of village on farm of Jäger, there very nicely received! The OGL has apologized that it did not work. We got the good room with a bed for Emmi and Regina, a couch for Grandmamma, a sofa for Irene. Charlotte, Ellinor, Frank-Leopold and I slept on fur blankets on the floor. In the evening cooked milk soup with klunkers. Went to bed at 20 o‘clock.
Monday, 19.03.1945. Today only got up at ½ 7 o’clock, since particularly Emmi has slept very well. We all were able to wash ourselves well with warm water and soap. Made coffee; eaten sausage and slices of bread and butter. Put on our peas with our salt meat for lunch. ½ 9 o’clock Charlotte, Ellinor and I walked 4 km to Pritzwalk to police station, inquired whether Mrs Pelz and Traute got in touch; they still have not got in touch. Then farther to the Kreisleiter Kobert; he will phone Bad Salzdetfurth, whether the two have really already departed – I am to phone back in the afternoon.
On Kreisleitung met the Ortsgruppenleiter Witte from Kemnitz. He has offered me to take me with him with his car on the way back. I still to trek management office 3 Marktstraße; handed over slip for Mrs Pelz and Traute; I still let them add that the trek Gehrmann broke down in Wredenhagen because of ill horses. Traute to try to get in contact with her father – and that trek Preuß and Weiß are at present in Kemnitz with Jäger; remains there a couple of days and Trude to phone there; telephone Pritzwalk 577.
It is now ½ 12 o’clock midday. I sit on the cart of Mr Witte and wait for him. Charlotte and Ellinor roam around in the streets here nearby and discover Pritzwalk. Actually nothing to write about Pritzwalk in particular; a little town, as they are here most all of them, as also Wittstock, just no military is here. The little town makes a rural impression. The trek management office is very terrible, still not equipped at all; the Kreisleitung simple; police station okay. It had already written down my telephonic calls and shown them to me myself. Still added that we are in accommodation for a few days in Kemnitz with Jäger and Trudel to phone us under No. of Jäger = Pritzwalk 577, as soon as they arrive in Pritzwalk at police station. I also had them note that we carry on trekking over Wittenberg in a few days. I will then tell Traute Gehrmann myself where she is to look for her parents.
Yesterday on the trip from Wittstock to Kemnitz with very cold wind, which also still came directly from the front and drew into the waggon, we were all, mainly I, very frozen. We only warmed up when we had drunk hot coffee in the inn and eaten hot milk soup in the evening. The wind has thoroughly dried the roads and today it is also not so cold. The march from Kemnitz to Pritzwalk was pleasant.
We still went together with three refugees from Stargard, Mr Pöllner with wife and sister-in-law, which we had already met yesterday in the inn. Two ladies pull a larger cart, the gentleman goes by bicycle, because he is war-disabled: At the feet to the knee in Russia veins frozen and therefore does not stand longer walking. Up to before Pritzwalk we still have talked pleasantly about the whole situation. Today they want to make 16 km by foot.
Tuesday, 20.03.1945. Got up 6 o’clock; breakfasted: rest fried potatoes, rest pea soup, coffee and bread. Mrs Jäger sold us 8 eggs á 0.10 Mark, sack chaff 2.00 Mark. 9 o’clock departure from Kemnitz. Sent off postcards to Elly, Papa, Mrs Schinz, Schnittger, Mrs Brandt in Strelitz, Mrs. Kruse in Zirtow. Bought entitlement slips from Emmi today. Then carried on driving through Kuhbier. Then horses fed in Retzin at 13 o’clock. Received for nothing from wife of Ortsbauernführer one sack of chaff with oats. Emmi cooked beer soup in inn of community chairman for all 9 persons; received 4 eggs with it from landlady; eaten our sausage sandwiches with it.
Wind of the Mark blown into the lungs the whole day. Trekked to Spiegelhagen, 3 km before Perleberg. ½ 5 o’clock got accommodation with farmer Wickel; Emmi with farmer Dammaß, very good reception. Bad reception with my farmer; not even allowed to make hot coffee in the evening and in the morning. Next to kitchen in the basement a room with cement floor and straw, table and bank, was allocated to us. – Made 26 km today.
Wednesday, 21.03.1945. ½ 8 o’clock this morning trekked on; 3 km to Perleberg. From Perleberg to Wittenberge 12 km. From Wittenberge to Seehausen also 12 km. Therefore today even still 27 km trekked – in the 9th week definitely still an achievement for the horses! From Perleberg to Wittenberge right and left very large fruit plantations with densely berry shrubs among them. Got to know Perleberg as a town with very many green spaces, blue spruces, kuppeltujas, magnolias and other ornamental trees. Taken small stay there. On half the way from Perleberg to Wittenberge air-raid warning.
½ 12 o’clock near Wittenberge driven over the Elbe over a very long railway bridge. I went with the three children on foot over it. Immediately behind Wittenberge in the inn met again Mr Pöllner with wife and sister-in-law; said to her: "Now we are in England". They hitched up their cart to our wagon as far as Seehausen; then we parted.
In Seehausen we absolutely were supposed to go into a mass accommodation; but we did not go; horses put in at livestock dealership and railway hotel König. We ourselves organized something for us. Two rooms in König’s hotel. Our room one bed with bedclothes for Leopold and me, a couch with down-filled kilt for grandmamma; Ellinor and Irene on furs and blankets on the floor. In the evening downstairs in the lounge properly eaten supper: potatoes, plenty sauce and each one meat ball and fine bread with it. After that each a cup of tea and sandwiches.
Met East Prussians next door, Mrs Siegmund from Dargau, district Pr. Holland, with one child and sister with five children and father. Talked to the old gentleman and talked very much, very lively exchanged all experiences up to now. Until ½ 11 o’clock in the evening air-raid warning.
Thursday, 22.03.1945. Got up 6 o’clock in König‘s Hotel in Seehausen. In the kitchen I have fried own potatoes; made coffee – breakfasted. Then still fetched food stamps for lunch from city hall. Then Emmi, Charlotte and I went to hair washing and crimping. When we were finished, we went for lunch into the tinning factory = stew; tasted quite good. Supper for 9 persons; paid 10 Mark, each room 5 Mark and for making coffee 1.00 Mark.
13 o’clock midday departure direction town Arendsee. 17:30 o’clock arrival in Kläden. I got accommodation with Ortsbauemführer Arndt; big room with one sofa, two mattresses over straw with white covered beds. Emmi accommodation with farmer Heumann; also very good! We here got for all six immediately hot potatoes boiled in their jackets cooked with hotly dissolved diced meat in aspic; tasted very wonderful altogether; then still hot milk and coffee afterwards. The people very good. The mayor, in the same person Ortsgruppenleiter, head official etc., very bad; absolutely wanted to still send us on in the evening ½ 7 o’clock. In the end he became directly stroppy and mean.
We have trekked 23 km today. 20:45 o’clock - tired and we go to bed.
With soldiers in Seehausen I have looked at a general staff map; wrote down all places to Bad Salzdetfurth; checked and established that it is still 200 km; therefore from here still 177 km. I heard that yesterday evening was air-raid warning in Seehausen, at night again ½ 3 and ½ 5 o’clock and bombs fell.
Friday, 23.03.1945. Marvellous sunny weather. Breakfasted: fried potatoes, meat ball meat, coffee. Departure 9 o’clock from Kläden. Emmi’s birthday.
The weather is the whole day so good; the children make themselves knee-length socks; sit partly barefooted on the wagon to bask the feet in the sun. Also run much on foot; look for greens for the horses, which they give them into the mouth during driving. ½ 1 o’clock midday feeding rest for the horses at an inn; before the air station before Salzwedel posted a card with news for trek Gehrmann to a tree. Wounded soldiers are to look out and give news.
Then still farther 9 km to Salzwedel; here c. 3 km driven through. Found accommodation 4km behind Salzwedel in the village Ziethnitz: Emmi with Schwerin, the bride manages; I with Eilhard Schulze. Mrs Schulze is 32 years old; her husband in English imprisonment; they have one son Wolfgang of 7 years. The father Liedke, 65 years old, manages 140 acres. They have 4 working horses, 3 of them white horses; 12 cows, 3 breeding bulls. Correct hen-house, White Leghorn. In the house are water closet and bathroom.
Grandmamma sleeps on couch downstairs in the room of that part of the estate reserved by parents for their use; we upstairs in the guest room; very good with two white covered beds. In the evening eaten fried potatoes and cucumbers with the family. The horses are well fed with by the farmer. Been with the mayor; received leave stamps for the 23rd and 24th. I still have set downstairs until ½ 9 o’clock in the evening, then gone upstairs, written diary and to Elly. I will wash myself thoroughly and then go to bed.
Today again trekked 27 km.
Saturday, 24.03.1945. Got up ½ 7 o’clock; received breakfast: bread, syrup, coffee. Bought eight eggs from Mrs Schulze.
Departure 9 o’clock from Ziethnitz. The last days driven marvellous straight roads, flat, no mountains. Since yesterday and today behind Salzwedel the road indeed also very straight, but already quite hilly.
In Püggen, district Salzwedel, with Fritz Tegelmann No. 23; received potato salad and 12 eggs for the evening, since we already received something in the other three houses for lunch – on our request received something immediately! Peter receives potato soup in a family. The Reichauer and grandmamma cabbage stew in another family. I with the three children joint of pork from the glass with nice sauce, potatoes boiled in the jack and pears out of the glass – everything for nothing!
Püggen is a great village, the first that we have found of this kind.
Carried on driving to the village Mellin; found reception with Ortsbauernführer Helmke; grandmamma, Irene and Charlotte with Jäger. The horses were put up with Geldermann. Irene and I got coffee, cake and rolls with plum purée at the Ortsbauernführer.
At the post help office again tried to get a telephone call to Bad Salzdetfurth — in vain.
Eaten our potato salad and boiled eggs in the evening. Ellinor has slept on a sofa, Frank-Leopold and I on a couch. Emmi and Regina in another room with a refugee woman in bed; Regina has wet herself. 24 km driven today.
Sunday, 25.03.1945. Departure ½ 10 o’clock from Mellin. Again nice weather; sunshine. Frank-Leopold underpants lifted and short leggings made, so that he can also roll down the stockings like the girls, who already go so for a couple of days. The children now also go much by foot with this nice weather, pull off greens for the horses, which they give to them during the drive, mainly to "Puttie", which is to get a foal and "Pierrot", which has become so slim.
Mrs Helmke has asked us, when the war is at an end and we have again a car, to visit her. I of course accepted.
At ½ 1 o’clock in Voitze; here eaten very good lunch – each 3 persons in one household. Reichauer have found it the best with the Ortsbauernführer. Spring soup with little meat balls, vegetable particles, real broth, fricassee, pudding with strawberries. Grandmamma, Ellinor and Peter in the other house: asparagus soup, pork meat, preserved pears. Irene, Frank-Leopold and I got fried potatoes with smoked loin of pork and milk.
In the meantime fed horses, then carried on to Ehra, district Gifhorn. In Ehra received accommodation with innkeeper Pieper – we Preuß one room with two beds and a chamber with one bed; covered white. Reichauer one room with two beds. The horses also all five together in one stable. Fried our potatoes in the evening. Mrs Pieper cooked wonderful semolina soup for all with vanilla and preserved plums with it. In the morning nice syrup. Grandmamma diarrhoea from too good unusual lunch. Given charcoal tablets and opium. 20 pound oats for the horses received. – Today 18 km driven.
Monday, 26.03.1945. Again nice weather. Still fetched 4 litre buttermilk and 2 litre milk from the dairy. In the inn Pieper we needed to pay nothing! Horses also got hay, in the morning and in the evening; also beets, well fed as much as one wants.
Departure 9 ¼ o’clock in the morning. Drank milk on the way; eaten quark. Immediately behind Ehra again very bad soil; almost still worse than in Zirtow – only small spruces and heath.
At midday 1 o’clock in Westerbeck before Gifhorn. Eaten lunch here. Reichauer and Grandmamma in one house: fried potatoes with egg, coffee, white bread. Peter and Irene other house: only salt potatoes and so. Ellinor, Frank-Leopold and I at the Ortsbauernführer: fried potatoes with egg, before that broth with noodles. After 2 ½ hours driven on.
Met a soldier from Allenstein/East Prussia here in the place and talked to. He reported that the Ortsbauernführer and Kreisleiter from Mohrungen escaped as the first out of his place. Later he meets the treks out of his place, goes there and wants to greet them – at that moment he was shot dead by his trek people!
Arrived 16 o‘clock in Gifhorn. Gone to district administration with Emma; asked where East Prussians or Mohrunger have been assigned into. No trace, no idea about it. Then asked to be allowed to phone Bad Salzdetfurth under reference numbers; that could also not be done. But then received certificate on which Mr Bolte, Ortsgruppenleiter in Röttgesbüttel, is asked to accommodate today 5 horses and 9 persons for one night. Then still gone to police station, handed in a card with short news for trek Gehrmann/East Prussia. Also from police station telephoning did not work, since everything in Hildesheim is destroyed.
Then moved on to Ausbüttel; there to the mayor; he wanted to send us back 1 km to the NVW Walter, who would then assign us for the night, possibly also for later or always. For us this was of course too far, to still go again back 1 km, therefore drove farther to Rötgesbüttel, where we handed over our certificate from Gifhorn at the Ortsgruppenleiter Teacher Bolte. His wife brought us to him, 7 o’clock in the evening; it became or was already almost dark. Then the gentlemen with the Mrs Teacher and the Ortsbauernführer at least ½ hour discussed together, where to with us. On our request then finally decided after all and the Ortsgruppenleiter brought us in our accommodation to innkeeper Tiedtke! In the lounge with completely black floorboards we were to set up our camp. I asked for a hot soup or hot coffee. Two rests of soup stood then also soon on the table, but not even lukewarm. I asked once again for hot coffee. That was in the end brought, but also only warmed up lukewarm. For Peter I had the rest soup made hot. After that I once again had the innkeeper asked to come in and asked for straw for the children, since I could impossibly put them on the black floor boards after all, since they were very dirty. The innkeeper got annoyed about this request; on no account can that be done. I then asked for allocation for straw in the barn – there he would no-one let in. Then he has assigned a corner of hay in the cowshed for us.
There the Reichauer slept all three on their wagon; grandmamma and Irene on a narrow sofa with chairs; I with the two children on other sofa with chairs in the lounge. Next door in the club room the innkeeper with family talked very loud until long after 22 o’clock, therefore we cannot sleep and I still write here about toady’s day. 28 km driven today.
Tuesday, 27.03.1945. Gone for leave stamps to Mayor Lütge; he gave none and said … "When you are on the country road without permission – you would have to be allocated at least in Gifhorn ..." and then became very cheeky and evicted us. So far the very worst man, whom we met up to now! We then went to the OGL; he gave us the certificate that we had received no leave stamps.
Mrs Bolte had made coffee for us; Emmi fetched the others and we all had breakfast there. Emmi’s black mare has not eaten, therefore once again Pierrot to Reichauer waggon today and the black Liese hitched up. Received hay, oats and chaff from another farm.
27.03. Departure ½ 10 o’clock in the morning. Nice sunny weather, but cold wind. Turned off right at Meine to Rethen; Braunschweig is passed by on the left. ½ 1 o’clock at midday. Fed horses in Rethen; received no lunch today. Eaten sandwiches and buttermilk. Emmi has been to the mayor and to be precise received no leave stamps, but proper ration-cards for each one person for one month - in Rötgesbüttel that was not possible! Received the cards here even without signature and without note on the trek slip. 13:30 o’clock moved on to Großschwülper. ½ 3 o’clock over road crossing Braunschweig-Celle.
At ½ 5 o’clock received in Bortfeld very good accommodation with Mrs Voges. Mrs Voges, single older woman with farm, has leased her land. Allocated a lounge downstairs; then for Preuß a bedroom upstairs with 2 beds; one of it a three-sleeper, other two-sleeper. Weiß downstairs a bedroom with three-sleeper bed. Received from neighbour Gutsen oats sheaves, chaff, milk and 10 eggs. From Ortsbauernführer larger bundle good hay. For evening salt potatoes, bacon-onion soup and a bowl pickled cabbage from Mrs Voges. Eaten well. I still tried to telephone, in vain.
Wednesday, 28.03.1945. — Today it is our papa’s birthday, my husband Walter. Emmi was mistaken with the time; fed horses already early at 3 o’clock. – In the morning a young relative of Mrs Voges brought us by herself unasked 10 eggs; a while later another relative a pot milk and 25 eggs. We are very moved by it.
¾ 9 o’clock departure from Bortfeld over Vechelde, a larger village. I have gone a small little stretch with a farmer in the one-horse carriage. He urgently advised to go in Groß Lafferde to the innkeeper and mayor. There is also a farmer from Tilsit allocated. We will see. Now 12 o’clock midday. Still a few km to Lafferde.
At ¾ 1 o’clock before inn Brandes, Gr. Lafferde. We hardly stood, there we were already asked in for lunch. When the horses had their fodder, we also went in immediately. There the table was already set for 9 persons and there was a very good grain of pearl barley potato vegetable soup, well cooked with meat! – the food must somehow have been ordered. Mr Petereit from Tilsit spoken to, but he had already driven here in October/November.
To Hoheneggelsen 18 km driven today. Between Groß Lafferde and Hoheneggelsen for the first time found a larger estate, in any case field areas and horses and carts, which must belong to a larger estate. Otherwise always only farm level up to 300, 400, 500 acres.
14:50 o’clock in Hoheneggelsen, district Marienburg, stopped for short time. Four gentlemen asked us immediately about the horses; wanted to keep us immediately there; just did not have accommodation for us. Emmi went out for potatoes; Irene for eggs. In Hoheneggelsen got fish = sole to buy. Emmi for 6.00, I for 11.00 Mark, I perhaps 11 pound. Received from there also c. 20 pound potatoes without money. To Garbolzum today 23 km and driven farther over Schellerten to Farmsen.
Received in Farmsen at farmer Krone accommodation at two old ladies and one old nephew of theirs. Coffee and eaten sausage sandwich in the evening. Then brought children to bed. Then the one old lady has baked for us egg cakes with stewed fruit. Upstairs in a room with two beds slept grandmamma, Irene and Frank-Leopold. In chamber next door one bed, where all three Reichauer slept. Ellinor and I slept over the street in very old house without windows in bed of other refugee woman. Peter in the barn. The waggons stood in the yard. Went to bed rather late. – Charlotte has seen a wagtail. -
Maundy Thursday, 29.03.1945. Early today "Putti" lies dead in the stable. Quite peacefully, without symptoms that it has scratched somehow, rolled about or otherwise. Also yesterday has absolutely shown no signs, not the smallest tiredness. Also the whole 10 weeks nothing detrimental noticed with her. Apparently got heart failure.
Departure 9 o’clock without Putti!
On the way we met these days and today quite particularly the many waggons with refugee good from Hildesheim. Our courage sinks to zero, since we have to assume everything is filled in Bad Salzdetfurth. Actually no day I even felt so bad than on this because of shear fear how it will be when we now arrive at our so-called final destination. On the way we then still heard that also a bomb has fallen in Bad Salzdetfurth. We passed by Hildesheim on the right. In the afternoon ½ 2 o’clock entry in Bad Salzdetfurth. The relatives have, also without receipt of our last card, reckoned on our coming on this day. Shortly before the Bodenburgerstraße 8 we see then already on the street my sister Edith Wasgindt. We drive farther to the sister Ida Neumann. Georg, Trudel, Elly arrive.
Mrs Schneider, our link address, was unfortunately just not at home; she has gone to Hildesheim to fetch things. Therefore it takes a little bit until we all know where to with us. As she is at home, then of course everything works out all right. The Reichauer still sleep on their waggon; we already in our room at Mrs Kühne, the sister of Mrs Schneider. Grandmamma at Elly and Trudel. The whole day it was raining a little. When I realize this at awakening I think "rain brings blessings". I hope it will be right and we indeed experience God’s blessings. His wonderful ways he has indeed guided us anyway that he had brought all 6 sisters and sister-in-law Elly together and has led us here. "God’s ways are miraculous and he carries out everything wonderfully"!
Eaten fried sole for lunch at Trudchen.
Friday, 30.03.1945. First day in Bad Salzdetfurth; slept well in Mrs Schneider’s and Elly’s beds; dreamt nothing .
Emmy got a flat at Mrs Martha Meier. Drove our waggon at midday before the front door; brought everything upstairs into the chamber. Pea sack torn, rye flour musty etc.. Mrs Kühne has helped with offloading. It rains again. Eaten lunch at Trudel. Lung hash and kohlrabi. Slept; air-raid warning; slept on.
Mrs Schneider is an absolute good person; Mrs Kühne also. Mrs and Mr Kienscherf just as much!
Today in the evening eaten with children and Ida and Georg in Kaiserhof; grain of pearl barley soup.
Saturday, 31.03.1945. Mrs Schneider and Mrs Kühne have gone to Hildesheim with Peter, our horses and Meier’s waggon early 4 o’clock. Brought along for me wardrobe, stove, little pot, hair broom, mop, scrubbing-brush, brush and little dustpan. Ida has helped the whole day. Trudel already yesterday registered us by the police; organized cards and today eggs. My beds and linen partly very damp, obdurate etc.. In the morning they still came back from Hildesheim. The wardrobe was put up. In the catering kitchen at Ms Strewe eaten lunch. Ida helped the whole day unpacking, putting away, sun beds, cover, washing room etc.. In the evening I and the two girls still washed the head at Schneider’s, rubbed the whole body of mine. 11 o’clock to bed. In the morning for all fresh underwear! Elly has ironed many dresses of mine and brought them.
Sunday, Easter, 1.04.1945. Got up early 7 o’clock, got ready, then gone to Ida and Edith for breakfast, eaten well. Conversed with Mr and Mrs Lucke. Then still went to Elly and Trudel for a little while; from there for lunch into catering kitchen. Noodle soup, goulash with plenty potatoes. Then still went a little while to Emma, from there to us, then to Idel.
2. — 10.04.1945. All days very much with errands, running about, washing, gathering wood in the forest and so forth; actually very quickly past. Spruce-cones 5 sacks full gathered.
Sunday, 8.04.1945. In the morning 9 o’clock the first American tanks drove through Bad Salzdetfurth – after many days of stress, the very greatest tension.
Monday, 9.04.1945. Did not dare to go out much, but nevertheless bought much of food, whatever there was available, just the same as on Saturday, 7.04. and the days before. Trudel helped putting up my stove.
Tuesday, 10.04.1945. In the morning Emmi and Trudel are gone to the forest to collect lose wood. In the afternoon with my horses and Meier’s waggon fetched out the same wood with Peter, still 5 sacks spruce-cones anew gathered in addition; my three children and Emmi’s two and Jochen Kühne helped.
Wednesday, 11.04.1945. Emmi great washing; I helped her with it; but in the meantime still gone shopping, queued; Idel also helped a little bit in the afternoon. Today made proper supper on our new stove for the evening: fried egg, sauce, potatoes in the jacket, pudding and jam.
Friday, 13.04.1945. Ironed washing yesterday; grandmamma has mended and darned it. Today washed small washing; hung up; then run around much because of errands. Bought suit material in the evening for Frank-Leopold and coat material.
Today the news got through that Roosevelt has died. The Americans stand 120 km before Berlin. Here in Bad Salzdetfurth everything has gradually calmed down.
Today I have received the clearance family maintenance for April and indeed 215 RM. A little bit very little for me. Today provided some coals for burning. Emmi has gotten garden-plot promised for all of us and indeed 30 perches, therefore for 15 persons 2 perches each.
Sunday, 15.04.1945. Still taken down washing in the morning, small washing still washed and hanged up. Gone to Volksküche (people’s kitchen) for lunch. In the afternoon with Emma marked out our 30 perches garden-plot into 15 parts, then had a few hours rest for the first time in Bad Salzdetfurth.
Monday, 16.04.1945. Got up 7 o’clock; quickly taken care of everything, prepared sandwiches for taking away, then 9 o’clock at Trudel and gone into the forest to the "Kalte Wand", felling timber. Mr Pullima, our Peter, Trude, Elly, Emmi, Georg, Irene and I stayed there until ½ 5 o’clock in the afternoon and everyone really worked – managed 2 large heaps of good hardwood. Frank-Leopold, Helga and Monika brought to grandmamma and fetched in the evening. Ellinor was at Ida, who cared for her clothing with fitting and sewing. Came home in the evening very tired and worn out, made supper, tidied up and gone to bed at 9 o’clock. It was a very nice warm, almost hot day; I am nicely burned by the sun.
Tuesday, 17.04.1945. Peter, Emmi, Georg, Trude, Elly, Edith, Mr Pullima have felled wood the whole day at the Kalte Wand; 2 large piles. I stayed at home, have ironed in the afternoon, but am very weak from tree felling.
Wednesday, 18.04.1945 Once again refurnished my room; moved my bed away from the window, since there was strong thunderstorm at night.
As from midday gone on our garden-plot – everyone: Ida and Georg, Edith, Elly, Trude, Emma, I with the three children. Spread 1 centner potash on 30 m2 and started to dig. Today very hot day.
Thursday, 19.04.1945. Everyone, except Elly and Trude, gone on garden-plot; 7 families = 30 square perches, therefore pro head 2 received from Ortsbauernführer Meier; I therefore 8 m2, but very bad soil! Elly and Trude no longer carried on; we others still farther --. But a mean work! Planted 1 basket early potatoes "Sieglinde"; salad, kohlrabi, white cabbage and savoy in-between. Went home ½ 5 o’clock, since curfew exist at 6 o’clock in the evening. Today indeed sun, but very cold wind. Everyone very tired! Fried potatoes and cabbage, tea, then quickly to bed. Today again many planes moved in the sky.
Friday, 20.04.1945. Got up again 5 o’clock, since also today supposed to go on garden-plot.
Saturday, 21.04.1945. My birthday; worked as on every weekday. In the afternoon still came well-wishers, despite me having forbidden it everyone. Ida and Georg brought a cake; Trude, Edith, Elly, grandmamma a flowerpot. Mrs Schneider came with paper serviettes and genuine tea tablets. Mrs Kienscherf with new duster. I only offered a couple of cigarettes.
Monday, 23.04.1945. Mr Kienscherf has birthday; I went congratulating.
Wednesday, 25.04.1945. It is Mrs Marlies Schneider’s birthday. Peter, Georg, Emma, Elly, Edith and Trude in the forest to fell the 6th pile of timber, up to now the Americans granted time off from 7 — 18 o’clock, since today from 6 — 20 o’clock. I with my three children and both Reichauer children gone to our field, sowing peas. We came home very tired. In the evening congratulated Mrs Schneider to birthday.
Thursday, 26.04.1945. Suddenly ½ 12 o’clock midday an American with a German interpreter stand upstairs in our flat. Mrs Kühne and I must have cleared our flat until 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Mrs Kühne and I to city hall. Then Emmi and I to the commander.
Emmi alone still at mayor. – I get 2 rooms here in the old school. The back room is only to be used as storeroom, since a lavatory is in it and it smells very much. The front room is indeed very spacious compared with the previous room at Mrs Kühne, but very high; windows and doors do not close; it is very airy and cold! I will probably freeze kaput here in the highest summer, since also no sun – room lies towards north and east. Emmi, Edith, Ida and Georg have helped today with move. Peter with my two horses also the whole afternoon.
Friday, 27.04.1945. Ida has still helped the whole day with rearranging things, likewise Emmi and Georg, mainly putting up the oven, installing my stove; Edith has also still helped.
Saturday, 28.04.1945. Ida and Georg fetched with handcart all my coal and the wood from Kühnes to here. Worked the whole day hard; completely black and dirty as well. I fetched two baskets potatoes from OBF Meyer and farther put away things, so that get finished with the worst. Ida and Georg ate supper here: potatoes boiled in its skin and chops, ribs. Bought 1 centner sugar per person 25 pound – on special entitlement certificate.
Sunday, 29.04.1945. Today again very cold day, our room even colder. Breakfasted well: milk soup with klunker, fried potatoes and groats sausage. Then a little piece of beef put up and started cooking. In the morning immediately baked two small cakes in stove, did not get done at the bottom. Nevertheless very cold in the rooms! Midday 12 o’clock comes Georg to fetch us to lunch into the Ratskeller.
Saturday, 12.05. 1945. - 14 days did not get round to write. Every day here is always very much accumulated with work and running around; our feet want to strike already. The last days were already always very nicely warm, indeed even really hot. Yesterday eaten the first green cabbage lettuce. Yesterday evening Trude and I went to Mr Schlüter about a job for Trudel and new accommodation for my horses after Whitsun. "Pierrot" is very crooked.
Today Emmi and I were at midday again at Mayor Höfel in the town hall. Conversed longer time with him very interestingly about everything possible, as there are accommodation for my horses, about our possible later returning home etc.. He has promised us every possible support.
Sunday, 13.05.1945. In the morning ½ 8 o’clock Emmi, Leopold, I and Mr Sterner brought Emmi‘s two horses to Detfurth to innkeeper wife. Immediately led the horses into the pasture garden. For the time being verbally agreed: 14 days without mutual reimbursement; then Emma receives per day 5.- RM for both horses, partly paid in kind. There still drank apple juice. Leopold 1 cup hot milk.
In joint kitchen for the first time really good lunch today: clear soup with vegetables and noodles, potatoes, sauce, 1 meat ball, stewed rhubarb. The chestnuts are in blossom.
Monday, 14.05.1945. I went ½ 7 o’clock early for Mrs Meyer to Detfurth to Gardener Bange for ice begonia. When I was back, a policeman came, asking me to the town hall; Emmi was also asked there. Then Mayor Höfel has, in our presence, given Mr Schlüter the very firm and brief task, to take care of our horses and also of us. He has really scolded Mr Schlüter. Mr Schlüter has then promised us every help. Peter is on strike as from today with the work, since he is allegedly ill.
Tuesday, 15.05.1945. Fetched 2 card-loads wood. Peter is today still on strike. The first day today fetch our wood out of the forest with 2 waggons: Emmi’s and my horses with one wagon each. Had quite much mishap with it, broken down etc., arrived here in the evening only with the 2. cart-load. I was at church executive committee Mr Bock about offloading the wood here, little corner in the basement etc.. – Since yesterday going out was granted from 5 o’clock in the morning until 9 o’clock in the evening.
Wednesday, 16.05.1945. I was ill at night, therefore I stay in bed. Peter today again in work, with in the forest fetching wood, immediately works much better. Already at ½ 10 o’clock he was here with the first cart-load. Hitched up Hanna and Lora together. Fetched in total 3 cart-loads today. Helped have Peter, Mr Sterner, Emmi, Trudel, Georg and last cart-load Edith instead of Emmi. Georg last cart-load also not with, since he had confirmation instruction in the afternoon. I got up in the afternoon; Ellinor has helped to wash out some things. Gingerbread premixed.
Put flower in other sack; sacks stirred. Irene in the morning to Aunt Ida, to fit shirt trousers. In the afternoon Frank-Leopold went to her. Today fetched lunch home.
Thursday, 17.05.1945. Had today gingerbread and beaten up cake baked at the baker. Baked well, only the gingerbread is much too dark. Trudel and Edith had also cake dough and gingerbread baked – everything turned out well.
Fetched three times wood out of the forest with "Lora" and "Hanna" and Peter. Pastor Storch was here about little corner in the basement of Mrs Oelkers, which she does not want to give to me. Late in the evening strong thunderstorm rain. Rain for gardens and fields also already very necessary.
Friday, 18.05.1945. Since it had rained strongly yesterday, today no driving into the forest, therefore Peter drives to Hildesheim with Mrs Meyer and her horse, one-horse. Trudel is going with to Hildesheim. As a result Edith goes to Emmi sewing. I have ironed Whitsun summer dresses and washed again wool washing. Ellinor went to English hour. In the afternoon potato peeling for joint kitchen. I have premixed raised cake with ersatz yeast and potatoes. Did not want to really work, but still came along and also baked well in the bakery. Yesterday in the morning with Trudel, Ellinor, Irene and Frank-Leopold fetched 80 tomato plants from Gardener Bange from Detfurth; in the evening planted here 30.
Whit Sunday, 20.05.1945. Lay down longer, then went to church at 10 o’clock with all three children, also Ida, Georg, Edith, Emmi and Charlotte. Preaching from Pastor Storch: "After at 9 o’clock the Americans have had here in our church their own service with their own pastor, with own hymn books and their own organist, we now want to have our Whitsun feast in our home church". From the spirit of truth and the spirit of untruthfulness, which lifted God trustfulness on its shield. "Who gives the clouds, air and winds ways, course and paths; he will also find ways, where your foot can go".
In the morning we have taken here our breakfast very holiday wise, coffee and cake. Midday into the joint kitchen mushroom extract soup, tongue ragout with wine sauce and beans respectively celery salad. In the evening at home salt potatoes, sausages, pudding and jam.
The children were still present at Sunday school and baptisms, then played baptism the whole afternoon at Margret Meyer.
Margret is nine years old and daughter of Martha Meyer, where my horses stand from the beginning. She has lost her husband last year, died, after he had lost one leg in the world war. The son Ernst is soldier in South France.
Whit Monday, 21.05.1945. Lay in bed until ½ 9 o’clock; breakfasted; then I with Trudel and Elly went to Mr Schlüter about our horses accommodation and Trudel’s job. Did not find him, from the side of his wife we got quite a cold rebuff. The children went for a walk. Lunch in the joint kitchen: beef with noodles, as pudding jelly. The children went again to Margret playing; I have eaten at home and read. 5 o’clock I went to Mrs Kühne; upstairs at Schneider’s still eaten bread pudding with vanilla sauce. Made supper at home, braised a little piece beef with potatoes boiled in the jacket and rest semolina pudding. Washed feet in the evening and wrote diary. Both Whitsun days quite cool; today rainy. Now in the evening it is raining quite strongly ½ 10 o’clock.
Wednesday, 23.05.1945. Yesterday I asked Mr Noske to organize accommodation for my horses. Was at Emmi today in the morning 9 — ½ 12 o’clock; cut her wood through once; in the afternoon ½ 4 — ½ 7 o’clock cut short with circular saw; loaded up; pushed 4 waggons home. Georg, Edith, Trudel helped. Emmi and I were still at farmer Grumbrecht, transport business Oelkers and Borchers about my horses, in vain. I then still went to Mrs Kühne, whether she will not once again try at Mr Schlüter. Ellinor cooked peas with bacon rind and potatoes boiled in the jacket. In the evening still sewed at Frank-Leopold’s trousers; darned stockings and written diary, washed feet; into bed. Weather today dismal, somewhat rainy. Peter has worked at Meyer in the afternoon.
Thursday, 24.05.1945. It had rained heavily at night. In the morning with Trudel to the mayor about my horses and a job for her. Received 130.- Mark support from Mr Rawohl. We are to pick up passes tomorrow at 10 o’clock. Been at Ms Asche Horststraße 23, about our deferred payment, horse fodder payment; but did not find her. Talked to Mrs Professor Hiersche in town hall. Talked to Mr Schlüter before going to lunch. Today turnip stew, tasted well. Mrs Martha Meyer has offered her pasture garden for my horses c. ¾ acres in size; I had a look at it and accepted the offer.
Settled with Mr Friedrich Meier and still received 74.80 Mark for horses. Today in the evening the horses got green fodder for the first time from Friedrich Meier into the manger. – In the evening boys were arrested, who are to have stolen cigarettes from the Amis.
Friday, 25.05.1945. At night still again rain. In the morning queued for meat black pudding purchase. Then ½ 10 o’clock ridden with "Lora" and "Pierrot" into the pasture garden. Irene and Margret remained there; I have brought them lunch and in the afternoon fetched the horses again into the stable. Still fed chaff in the evening. Still bought bread, butter, flower and noodle. For supper sour rind, potatoes boiled in the jacket and cabbage-lettuce. Ellinor helped Ms Prof. Hiersche to fetch one sack of chopped wood from Kaiserhof into confirmation room. No rain, but quite cold. In the evening still went to my horses and to Peter and Emmi.
Sunday, 27.05.1945. Yesterday Lora was not on the pasture, but worked at Mrs Meyer at the Kalte Wand. In the afternoon both horses with Mr Sterner to cart wood, from the forest near Wehrstedt; Pierrot fell; completely full of loam.
Today both horses and Peter to Hildeheim for a Mrs Gehse, who lived at Rasches: flat wagon full of things and brought Mrs Gehse to Hildesheim. I got 30.- Mark for it and Peter 4 boxes of matches and 10.- Mark tip. As from 3 o’clock both horses then still on pasture until 8 o’clock. I tended. In the morning I went with all children to church; Ida, Georg, Edith and Charlotte as well. In the evening Trudel and Edith to skat — but I could not join in the game, since I had to tend horses.
Monday, 28.05.1945. Early this morning 7 o’clock with Lora and Pierrot to smithy, replacing horseshoes; then 10 o’clock in the forest to the Kalte Wand fetching wood with Peter, Georg, Elly and Edith. Bought from Knackstedt 4 pounds syrup. Today not into Ratskeller to joint kitchen, since 18 English policemen have to be catered for there. For it gone eating to the Kaiserhof: 4 x food á 95 pfennig and 1 lemon sparkling mineral water, paid in total 4.60 Mark. In the Ratskeller paid 4 x food 1.80 Mark. For grown-ups per head 50 pfennig; children under 10 years 40 pfennig. On Sunday 10 pfennig per person more. Today in the afternoon helped stacking up Emmi’s chopped wood into a pile. We were invited by Mrs Goldmann to 2 cups coffee; tasted very good. 2 x in forest; Peter, Georg, Edith, Trudel and Elly organized pea shrubs.
Tuesday, 29.05. Little uncle arrived today in Bad Salzdetfurth. His Elly was just in the forest. After little uncle had just greeted his daughter Monika and his mother, our grandmamma, Ms Stoffregen has led him to the Kalte Wand to Elly. In Berlin he was injured for the second time at the left hand, likewise at the head. He walked from Berlin to Neustrelitz by foot.
Thursday, 31.05.1945. The Catholic Church celebrated Corpus Christi and the Lutheran the hail holiday. Early in the morning we went with the children to Detfurth, to show the children the altars arranged outside out of flowers and the Corpus Christy procession.
Friday, 1.06.1945. Little uncle took over my two horses, to do for the first time transport business and pay trips, mainly fetching wood from the forest. Fetched wood for Mr Kühn, town hall, 2 x from the Kalte Wand in the morning for 18.00 Mark. In the afternoon Pierrot in the pasture garden and fetched wood with Lora for Mrs Martha Meyer. Bruno has done up the waggon of hers. Today, Saturday, 1 x for Hasse, hat shop; 1 x for Ms. Alforth, town hall; 1 x Böttiger from Wehrstedt and farther fetched wood = 39.00 Mark.
Sunday, 3.06.1945. Lay until ¾ 8 o’clock, then Bruno came and told me, he is prevented from coming; I should bring the two horses into the pasture garden myself. Irene and I got dressed very quickly, rode away 8 o’clock; 9 o’clock back. Ellinor has made beds in the meantime, tidied up room etc.. Drank morning coffee; cooked sour meat balls for lunch; Ida and Georg have also cooked here and we ate together. Drank coffee. It was a resting Sunday; did a little reading and writing. Frank-Leopold has an ill throat, stayed in bed in the afternoon; given tablets; made compress; but has no fever. Very hot day today. Ellinor and Irene really sunned themselves outside on blankets; Irene then went to Margret playing.
Wednesday, 6.06.1945. Tonight I dreamed: Walter has baked cake at home in Kranthau, it did not turn out well; there comes the old woman Mrs Helbing straight through Steckel’s field between barn and large stable on to our yard and brings with her to him yeast in the pointed little bag. She had gone quickly, so that she still came right with the yeast. Besides Walter absolutely wanted to take Mrs Rosner, Steckel’s cottager woman, as help on the farm and I very urgently advised against it. So far my dream.
Monday in the afternoon and Tuesday cut 4 heaps wood on the sports field with band-saw; paid 58.00 Mark for Ida, Edith, Elly and Trude. In the morning Bruno has transported 1 x wood with my horses, in the afternoon cut into blocks and taken away
Sunday, 10.06.1945. We went to the St. Georg-Church; Senior Minister Petri preached: Justice increases a people, but sin is men’s undoing. And: Everything depends on God’s blessing. – In the afternoon we went on to the field; to hoe our completely overgrown piece – the potatoes came up badly.
Tuesday, 12.06.1945. I have gone with Mr Noske with his Opel at 9 o’clock to Hildesheim, Peter as well. In the Office of the District President received purchase certificates for overall and shoes, but got nothing to buy. I have then still been in the government building. ½1 o’clock departure from Hildesheim, after 20 minutes’ drive again in Bad Salzdetfurth. In the afternoon went again with Idel and Ellinor on to the field hoeing. Emmi as well, she really well squabbled, because everything was overgrown. Edith also hoed on her piece. In the evening Irene and I fetched the horses from the pasture garden.
Wednesday, 13.06.1945. In the morning Bruno has carried furniture and things for the town hall with Oelker’s waggon to Hildesheim, trip 50.- Mark. I gone with, to have a look at country and landscape. Very cold, rainy weather. Brought back 21 cardboard boxes vegetable cans for military hospital. Idel has yesterday and today managed for me, cooked and baked potato pancakes. Early to bed in the evening.
Friday, 22.06.1945. My husband Walter arrived today here in Bad Salzdetfurth! Ellinor and I were in the forest collecting fir cones, there Elly comes towards us and says "quickly, quickly home, Walter has arrived"! Walter had first gone to Mrs Schneider; she told him that I and all three children and mother are here healthy, likewise Bruno, the other aunts, nieces and the nephew.
Sunday, 22.07.1945. On Friday, 20.07., Mrs Kuschinske from Rodenkirchen near Oldenburg here to visit. She will go back early tomorrow morning. Today she has said Mr Heitmann, son-in-law of estate owner Rekittke in Schwenkendorf, has met our cousin Willi Eissing with his young wife in Schleswig-Holstein. Willi Eissing from Himmelforth, was active as administrator with H. von Götz in Amalienruh.
Tuesday, 7.08.1945. On Montag, 30.07. grandmamma moved to Wrisbergholzen to Bruno and Elly and Monika. On the day following Trude has accepted a job as housekeeper at the estate in Marienburg near Hildesheim. Edith, Ida and we are still here in Salzdetfurth. Since 2 days ago Ida has accepted a 3 hour job during the day with Mr Schill and son in town, mainly cooking lunch. Edith only lives for her daughter. Walter works hard carrying wood from the Kalte Wand and often to Hildesheim, during the last 8 days three times.
Since one week ago our children get regularly religious instruction in the school; two times one hour/week. At least something and a beginning is made. The last time was nice warm weather. Three afternoons I have helped with Mrs Meyer in the harvest, wheat, mixture, oats bundled and put up.
Thursday, 23.08.1945. Rainy weather; early in the morning Walter, I and Ellinor set out with Lora for a trip for apples. "At the innkeeper wonder mild, there I was recently a guest; a golden apple was his plaque at a long branch. – I asked him for the duty; there he shook the treetop – blessed may he be for ever, from the root to the peak". Afterwards we drove to Wrisbergholzen to Elly, grandmamma, Monika and Bruno. They live in a very old house with low living room etc.. Walter sang: "Under the roof hurrah; under the roof hurrah, the sparrow has its young; when they were again cheerful, they started to sing, sing …".
Bought 20 pound pears from Bruno, red cabbage and savoy and a 6 pound bread. Eaten lunch at Elly. Picked 1 centner apples. Around 3 o’clock we were again at home.
Friday, 24.08.1945. 7 o’clock I went with Leopold by train to Hildesheim to the Office of the District President, to the military government 1004 and to the military government 122, Relevant for the city Hildesheim.
I also was at the ophthalmologist Dr. Spengler, Städtisches Krankenhaus (municipal hospital), Am Weinberg; I have paid 10.- Mark for the test and got glasses prescribed. Gone back in the evening ¾ 6 o’clock by train again with rainy weather. Frank-Leopold was very tired, has eaten and went straight to bed. I still read out the newest newspaper. In the evening at 8 o’clock with rainy weather Walter fetched the horsed from the pasture garden.
Sunday, 26.08.1945. Frank-Leopold and Helga stayed at us at home, all we others, Ida, Georg, Edith, Charlotte, to the farewell service of Pastor Storch: "Oh stay with your favour …" etc., since Pastor Marx, local pastor, has come back from Finland. Ida and Charlotte have eaten lunch at us. In the afternoon Trude came from Marienburg to visit; played skat for a short time. Afterwards still two East Prussian wounded persons came, Mr Rautenberg and Mr Hinz here to a chat.
Thursday, 30.08.1945. Walter had made trips for the town hall to Bockenem and fetched food for hospital and military hospital. Early yesterday Peter has mowed our second meadow with ½ acres and Ellinor has spread the grass.
Every afternoon from ½ 4 to 7 o’clock Ellinor looks after the small child Harriet, daughter of Baroness van der Hoop; receives each time 50 pfennig; she is therefore our big earner.
After weeklong rain periods it is again nice weather after some days; yesterday even very hot. Yesterday Emma came from Wrisbergholzen to visit, also Ida. Ida was with Ellinor and Georg in the town hall, to receive used clothes and linen.
Letters to Grete per address: Peter Keschelies, Braunschweig, Hauptpostamt (GPO), postlagernd (poste restante), given today to Mrs Peters to take with, who wants to go to Braunschweig again the next days and post the letter there.
Tuesday, 9.10.1945. On Sunday, the 7. October, Waltraut, Dorothee and Rudi arrived here. They set off on Thursday from the district Seehausen, under Russian occupation, with hand luggage and arrived well here on Sunday. Grete, Richard and Fredi have still remained there.
Last week Walter has driven his own new roll waggon for the first time, which we applied for at the Ledebur-Kaserne (barracks) Hildesheim and which Master Smith Meier has made ready here. Since that time still more trips arise to Hildesheim and other removals. Carted wood ordered, cut from Forest Warden Sasse for 5 Hildesheimer.
Uncle Karl Wasgindt has found his wife Edith upon Luise Kalff's card. Karl came to Bad Salzdetfurth and took Edith and daughter Helga with to a farm of 60 acres near Göttingen.
Wednesday, 17.10.1945. Walter has carted today two times wood for Senior Forest Warden Strewe onto his yard. Some rainy weather. Walter has fallen down from the load of wood at carting wood; he has ache in the back and neck. Therefore stayed at home in the afternoon. Walter and I went to Ernst Brüggemann, Hauptstr. 60, to look at the flat allocated to us by the mayor. We were received there very coldly; but were then still allowed to look at the stable and living rooms. The day before yesterday Rudi was with Walter with, helping moving 8 metre wood in Sellenstedt for Forest Warden Sasse. Brought 3 m with for Sasse on his yard. Brought with 2 centner carrots á 10.- and 2 centner potatoes á 3.50 from on the way. Yesterday Walter was in Hildesheim and has purchased from Ochtersum 40 pounds pears for 8.- Mark. This evening until ½ 9 o’clock darned stockings with Ellinor and Irene.
Wednesday, 24.10.1945. Bruno Neumann arrived here this evening. He has been in deployment in the encircled area Danzig-Marienburg and has been wounded there at the arm. All his things, like letters, coat, shoes etc. have burned. On the 9. May he came into Russian imprisonment. Marched from Danzig over Marienwerder to Dt. Eylau, there loaded into railway wagons and brought to Odessa working; still came himself into the mine. The prisoners there were divided up in groups 1, 2, 3 and 4. Group 3 was almost no longer able to work; group 4 not at all! Bruno was in group 4; medically examined and found to be completely unable to work and sent home. On the 3. October he departed from Odessa over Warsaw, Litzmannstadt/West Prussia to Frankfurt/Oder. There unloaded. Bruno then still went to Elly’s flat in Potsdam. Mrs Fricke, neighbour of Elly, gave him a suitcase to take with him from Ida for Ida. He carried it to shortly before the Russian-English border; then had to leave it behind and so arrived here. Completely in tatters and louse-ridden and became awfully wretched and old. Bruno stayed in bed on Thursday, rested and on Friday went to Hildesheim to the public health doctor, since he otherwise would hardly receive food stamps. On Saturday he again rested in bed.
Saturday, 27.10.1945. Today Ida and I were invited by Mrs Goltermann for coffee. Nice apple cake and drank several cups good real coffee; good conversed. Mrs Goltermann still gave for Bruno to take with: 1 pair of shoes, 1 hat, 1 shirt and 2 collars, 1 handkerchief.
Today Walter has carried no removal and also no wood, since rainy weather. In the morning fixed the borrowed plough from Leinemann from Detfurth and ploughed with it in the afternoon on leased land from Forest Warden Sasse. Early in the morning Ellinor fetched 2 bunches of flowers from Bange, Detfurth, nice chrysanthemum á 1.40 = 3.- Mark.
Sunday, 4.11.1945. Up to now there was always still very nice autumn weather, almost mild, almost spring days – except some rainy days from time to time. The move to E. Brüggemann we have completely declined. Thereupon the Silesia refugee Kern was to go there; he also declined. Thereupon the housing office has put in someone without horses. One day of the past week Pastor Marx was here. In the conversation amongst other things said, he is with mother and father and with 6 – 7 pupils also all in one kitchen, why shall this then here at us not work with 5 persons in one room? And: First the Salzdetfurther should also get some lease land on church land, then also we could be considered etc.. Therefore his inner attitude is thus absolutely no degree different than that of Mrs Brüggemann, who said to me: "Indeed, when you have been lying 10 weeks with your children on the country road, why then does it now all at once not work?" And at another time she said: ".... why didn’t you remain in East Prussia"?
Sunday, 13.01.1946. Up to now always still very nice weather, now and then rain. Today some snow falls. Today we were visited: Headmaster Kienscherf, Mrs Goltermann, Forest Warden Sasse and Trude.
On Monday until Wednesday 7. – 9. Jan. Ms Hilde Borchert from Kranthau, now Wolfenbüttel, was here our guest; had much to talk about, the 3 days were just enough.
On Friday I had washing, which Ida has boiled, rinsed, hanged etc. for me, since I went to Hildesheim about permission for grandmamma to move here! But did not get it immediately; must be submitted in writing. I then have the same day written per registered letter to Bruno Mattern to Wrisbergholzen about medical certificate and room certificate.
Trude visited grand aunt Weiß from Sonnenborn last week, who only on the 7. November left Sonnenborn, was expelled, chucked out by the Poles! 3 days before the Winkenhagener obviously left there: Aunt Ida, Uncle Adolf and Lieschen Münnekhoff with her 2 small children. But how did they get out and where are they now? Aunt Weiß from Sonnenborn is to be very miserable and not recognizable at all.
Thursday, 17.01.1946. Walter and Ida have fetched grandmamma today from Wrisbergholzen, who moved to there on 30.7.1945, has therefore been there 5 ½ months.
Her food stamps for the period from 7.1. until 3.2.: 400 g meat, 325 g butter, 200 g fat, 500 g processed foodstuff, 500 g jam, 500 g sugar, 125 g coffee ersatz, bread indeed generously, but meat only just so much as we normal consumers are entitled to, therefore 150 g each for the coming 2 weeks, for this half week 100 g meat, although grandmamma is entitled until the 3.2. to the self-supply rate of 500 g per week. Well, yes -.
On Sunday, 20.1. Bruno still brought a liver sausage; but is nevertheless still not enough.
Tuesday, 29.01.1946. Little Irene’s birthday — In the morning Charlotte was here a short moment to say that her father, uncle Reinhold Weiß, has arrived yesterday evening in Wrisbergholzen, apparently came from home from Reichau/ East Prussia; she still did not know any details.
Since our papa did not go to the woods today because of the bad weather, we all 6 drank coffee early together, ate a liver sausage sandwich and cake sprinkled with almonds baked yesterday. At lunch smoked joined of pork of Liek’. For coffee was fresh cake sprinkled with almonds, a filled semolina cake and different cookies. As guests came Georg, Margret Meyer and Heidemarie Schubert. Around evening there is still pudding. In the morning came already Mrs Wein, bookshop, congratulating with red plait bow and bookmark, in the afternoon Mrs Goltermann with an apple and 2 pink hair bows. I gave Irene new slippers, papa 20.- Mark, Ellinor 10.- Mark. From Grandmamma she received crocheted white slippers and cake, from Heidemarie 1 picture book, from Margret 1 flowerpot and 5 eggs, from Georg 1 pair stockings.
Friday, 1.02.1946. Grandmamma’s birthday.
Early in the morning, as everyone except me were still in bed, it knocked and in come Helga, Edith and Karl. In the afternoon still Ida, Bruno, Georg, then Grete with Traute, Dora and Manfred, then Bruno and Reinhold; in the evening still Charlotte and Trude. Trude with big very beautiful cake and pork lard, little cheese and one egg. Bruno with a cake and black pudding.
Reinhold reported: Countess Groeben, Ponarien, is dead. He has found her with chest shot in the woods and buried with a daughter of Bachmanns.
Eduard Klautke and Albert Grünhagel from Kranthau were taken away by the Russians; fetched in the car, with the car in the Reichau area already driven against a house or tree; with repeated broken bones broken down. Reinhold has not seen this himself, but others, who have seen it, have reported it to him.
The old Uncle Eduard Mattern in Polkenen is also dead.
The young Mrs Lange from Klein Luzainen was shot dead by the Russians, when she against Russian orders still went to feed the livestock. Her son came out with on the 3.11.
The old Karl Wehran, Kranthau, is also dead. August Maschitzke, Eckersdorf in the village as well and the two girls taken away. Farmstead Grünhagel in Kranthau burned down.
Farmstead and smithy of Walter‘s Uncle Preuß in Seubersdorf is burned down. He himself and his wife live; the uncle forges. His daughter-in-law Grete Preuß, née Bahr from Berling, was taken away by the Russians.
Edith reports that Schikowski, Eckersdorf, has been taken away and that Lothar Schirrmacher lives and got in touch from English imprisonment.
Friday, 8.02.1946. Flood distress! The "Lamme" River is in flood and not only that, since this afternoon it burst its banks.
In the evening 8 o’clock the water washes already up around the steps of the vicarage. Walter has taken with him a couple of sandwiches, likewise dry stockings and backless slippers and has gone over to our horses to Mrs Meyer to remain there at night. In the evening he has already tied up the horses in the back of the barn. I asked Georg Neumann to come here at night and he is here, so that I have somebody as help in case the water rises so high that it comes into our room and we have to put up or clear out everything, what God may prevent.
Saturday, 9.02.1946. Reinhold Weiß is here and reports that Teichen from Eckersdorf, living in the little village room of August Maschitzke, has been shot dead by the Russians. Gniftke of Horn, a tall man, has lain dead in Reichau behind Berger’s barn, shot dead by the Russians. Borchert‘s farmstead in Kranthau was still standing in June.
Otto Graf, single farmstead Mohrungen, is to be dead. Emil Bahr, Bergling, with one arm, and Klautke of Willnau, who has married into Bahr, were both shot dead by the Russians – in the presence of their wives.
The Poles came in the middle of July to Reichau!
Monday, 18.02.1946. Received a pig, a castrated boar; put to Mrs Meyer into the stable. Started immediately with dry fodder; it feeds well. -
Yesterday Walter, Ellinor and I together to cinema. For the first time with our grown-up daughter. This morning Frank-Leopold and Irene also to cinema: "Waldrausch" (Forest transport) and preview newsreel. Generally there is now bad weather and Walter goes very little into the woods. This week on the 22.2. Mrs Meyer has given 30 bundles straw for our horses.
Sunday, 10.11.1946. On the 20. July 1946 we have moved here to Henkes in Hauptstraße (Main Street) 44.
Shortly before we have lost our horse "Pierrot", four years old, through tetanus.
Soon afterwards we could buy from trader Tostmann from Hildesheim a 2 ½ year old mare "Lady", Hanoverian.
On the 23. August we also bought from Tostmann for 1,140 RM our cow "Wanda". The sheep "Lotte" bought already in spring from Fredi‘s farm in Upstedt. The day-chicks obtained from the hatching-house on 4.4. Of that 6 pullets, of which the first started laying on the 23.8, the other five in September.
Last Sunday Mr Hülsen visited. He reported that he has received mail from his family from Samland.
Yesterday in the evening Mr Werner Farrensteiner from Schieder-Lippe was our guest, formerly East Prussia. Had much to report until ½ 11 o’clock.
As every Sunday, so also today Walter, Ellinor and I to church. Irene and Frank-Leopold at 2 o’clock to Sunday school.
Now Pastor Dächsel from Silesia is here for the time being; before P. Sprondel from Pomerania, but he was called to Bremen to the cathedral. P. Marx was here before, from whom the practising of the pastor office was taken by the church consistory. Before him P. Storch from Grasdorf near Derneburg was here as stand-in, since P. Marx was soldier in Finland.
Memorial Day, 24.11.1946. On Sunday, 17.11. our cow Wanda has gotten its first little calf, at night ¾ 11 o’clock; everything went well. Yesterday, 23.11., grandmamma has moved from 51 Bodenburgerstr., into the Gildehaus Room 4, in the Hauptstraße (Main Street). There she has central heating, warm and cold water, toilette over the corridor immediately opposite.
Today in the church I have asked Pastor Dächsel, not to dress the deceased with the best suits, shoes etc., but to give them to people who are cold; to think about the living this way and consequently honouring the memory of the dead!
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