The End of the Second World War

in Graal-Mueritz, near Rostock, East Germany

My mother's memories about the first phase of Sowjet occupation and administration

top: Wolfgang, below: Erik

Obviously, the Russians respected nurses and did not seize them. Because once I walked upstairs in the Hospital, and a Red Army man with a Ucrainian accent asked me in Russian: "Are you a nurse?" I answered "yes." He let me pass. Obviously he had not even noticed that I understood and spoke Russian.

There were two women in the village who had been prostitutes, and they distracted the Russians from the other women; probably they got paid with food.

There was no more milk. Once, a nurse from the children's home asked my mother if she had milk or any food for the children, because the cows had already been butchered and eaten.

That's the way it was at that time. The place was undestroyed, but there was need and awful circumstances.

The inhabitants of the place were anything but happy about the refugees who were put into their houses and did not make the situation easier for them.

I made friends with a nurse in the children's hospital, her name was Elli Etzold, she was about 40 years old. Then my younger boy died in Rostock. The only ones to lead him to the grave were my father, the gravedigger and I.

I prayed to God not to take the second child away too. Once I looked through the glass window of the hospital station, although it was forbidden. Wolfgang saw me and cried.

But when also he died, a short time after Erik, I had no tears any more. Elli shouted at me: "Do cry!" It hurt me, but I couldn't cry.

At the corner where this hospital was, there is a street that leads to the beach, here stood a pompous villa, where the cosacks lived. I started working for them.

They made tea from morello cherry bark. I had to collect it. This was the method of the Bashkir people to make tea. They are related to the Turkish, very joyful people, I never met people who laugh as much as they did.