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Posted March 11, 2005
1943, after the bombing in Hamburg, Father, Auntie, and Uncle came out of the fire into the cellar. They were each wrapped in a wet blanket and had several more blankets and buckets of water with them. Father looked at everybody, and there were tears in his eyes. 'We did not think that we would find anybody alive. The house is completely destroyed. You will have to wrap a dripping wet blanket around yourselves, soak your shoes in water, and then we will run through the fire. We will make it. The planes threw napalm bombs and this whole area is burning, even the ground. I saw people jump into the river to escape the fire, but even the water is burning. People were trying to hold on to the steel girders of the bridge, but the girders are glowing hot. We are just on the edge of the fire here; across the next street, the fire stops. We have to run through.' They did. They made it to the park on the top of a hill, and sat down on the grass and watched the inferno below. It was peaceful in the park, a warm, wind-still summer's afternoon. Father comforted Mother. 'I keep thinking of a poem I learned a long time ago, where it says: 'He counted the heads of his loved ones and not one was missing,' That's all that matters. I thank God for his mercy.' Mother nodded. 'Our roast was still in the oven,' she smiled. 'That's my girl,' said Father, holding her tightly. 'I like to see you smile.' Margrit looked at her grandmother. Tears ran silently down Grandmother's face. Margrit went to gather some flowers, and made a daisy chain. 'For you, Grandmother.' Grandmother smiled through her tears, and put the daisy chain around her neck. They all spent the night in a large, public air raid shelter, where the Red Cross gave them food. Then soldiers came and said that all the women and children would be transported to Bavaria tomorrow. A train would be waiting at the station. There was no bombing in the country, and farmers there would take care of them. Father took his family to the station, but he had to stay behind. He had orders to remain working at the hospital. Father was the hospital's pathologist. The grandparents went lo live with Auntie and Uncle. It was Mother and her four children who boarded that crowded train bound for Bavaria. The Train took two days and two nights. Occasionally, the train stopped and waited - all lights out - to avoid an air raid, or it had to take a different route because the tracks ahead were blown up. The Red Cross brought food and washed the children whenever the train stopped. Then they arrived in a Bavarian town. About twenty children and their mothers were told to get off the train, and that included Mother and her children. They were put on trucks and driven slowly through smaller villages. At each village, some people were told to disembark. Mother and her children were last. They were taken to the town hall. The Herr Buergermeister assured them that people were eager to help. They stayed in the town hall for more than a week, and nobody came to help. 'Nobody wants four children,' muttered Mother. Then the Herr Buergermeister announced that the Reichsfuehrer had pledged three hundred and sixty Marks per month to each person taking in a city child. Werner went first. A farmer's widow from another village took him, because she could use a young man around the house. Then three old spinsters, who ran a small farm, took Margrit. Nobody wanted Mother and the babies. After another three weeks, Father suddenly visited to take Mother and the little ones back to Hamburg. 'Margrit, these three good ladies will look after you really well and you will be safe here,' Mother said. 'Promise you won't cry.' 'You come back, Mother. Promise you'll come back!' Margrit fought back her tears. 'I promise, I do.' Mother shook Margrit's hand and left quickly; she did not want Margrit to see that she was crying. The children were well looked after. Margrit had two rooms toWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.