My family had left Tallinn (Reval) in 1939 and lived near Gdansk (Danzig) during the war

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

During the action "Heim ins Reich", the family had moved in October 1939 from Reval/Tallinn, Estonia, to Rauden/Dirschau in West Prussia, today Poland. After an attempt to flee along the coast by horse and carriage, they had been cut off and forced to return to Danzig/Gdansk and caught a boat in Gotenhafen. My mother was 24 years old and fled together with her baby children, Erik and Wolfgang, 2 and almost 4 years old. Her husband, my father, was stationed in East Prussia, and they did not have contact any more. The memories were not finished; death took the pen out of her hand.

After a few days in very cold weather in the carriage, the younger child was wet and both had fever. It was terribly difficult to find a place in a train; yet they could not continue the journey.

Maria. author of these memories, in Rauden/Danzig during the war

We landed in Warnemuende. We caught a train to Hamburg, but had to leave it again, because the boys both were in a bad condition. I took the younger one to a hospital in Rostock; the older one, not yet 4 years old, in a children's hospital in Graal-Mueritz. We lived in the school building. The children were infected with diphtery, because hunger and cold had weekened them. In Gelbensande I was sent to work in a sawmill owned by the family Spiegelberg. This was already unter Sowjet administration. Women and injured persons were sent to work in the forest. For a meal, you had to work.

We were able to communicate quite well with the Russian commander. In Estonia, speaking and understanding Russian was a basic.

The first commander's name was Akimov. He was a friendly man. Another followed him, whose name I forgot, a somber Kasachian.

One day, my mother went to see Akimow, I don't remember why. He showed her a pile of letters: All of them denunciations from German citizens in his district. Many of them probably tried to get rid of their own guilt and distract from themselves.

Violation of Women

In many cases, it did not seem to be rape, but regular visits. I had made friends with a refugee women who had a son of 6 or 7 years. One of her visitors waited until she had put the child to sleep; the other one often was drunk and grabbed her right away.

Many women got infections from being raped.