Franz Aschemann

Title

Franz Aschemann

Description

Police Sergeant Franz Aschemann's account of the events at Königstraße 74.

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Date

1944-03-02

Contributor

Harry Ziegler

Rights

This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.

Language

Type

Identifier

Record 11
BKasselVdObmv10011

Coverage

Conforms To

Spatial Coverage

Temporal Coverage

Transcription

Translated from the original in German: Present is the police sergeant Franz Aschemann, born 12 September 1885, of Königstraße 74 and makes the following statement:
When the alarm was raised, we had not heard it. Our air raid warden made us aware that we had to go to the cellar. We went – listen to me – we went together in the cellar and, on the advice of my son (who was on furlough from the front) and another staff sergeant from the front, I was going to be more passive than usual, because usually I stayed in the house to be on the spot. You see, after a while, when the noise started, there were heavy hits, as if heavy things were falling. People were low-spirited but very calm. You see, we, my son and the staff sergeant had opened the breakthrough to 76, a cloud came in; we would have better left it bricked up. It was impossible to get through there. People from 70 and 72 came into our cellar. So we ran across to Jägerstraße 1 because it was still okay there. You know, across the street, with all the luggage, counting off, who is missing, there is a man missing. I’m standing at the stairs to the cellar and say to my wife: “I’m going to see where the old gentleman is.” (The pensioner Wolf.) It was my duty, he was a slow old man. I went back to rescue him but could not get into the burning entrance hall because already on the way over, a number of women did not want to follow us through the fire, because of the heat and the draft the fire created, it was a terrible heat. You see, as I ran back to Jägerstraße 1, everything was ablaze around us, I’m thinking where I could fetch help, and I ran to the Jewish temple in order to see where I could still find a space free of fire. But as I stood at the corner to Bremer Straße, I could not turn back.
I had run with the firestorm but was unable to go against it. I couldn’t go back but had the reassuring feeling that my son and the staff sergeant were there, they have experience of war, they’ll know what to do. You see, I’m standing at Holländische Platz. And now came the refugees, holding fast onto me: “Sergeant, please help us!” It calmed people to see a policeman. And in a jiffy, I had 25 women and children around me but no men. And I channelled these people through, a stretch along Holländische Straße, through a property to Henschelstraße and then on to the abattoir, Mombachstraße, and then to the cemetery. There I said to them: “Now you have to help yourselves.” You see, I crossed the cemetery, went over the Rothenberg (Stahlhäuser) past Mittelfeld, across the depot, through Wegmann’s Park to the police station in Harleshausen where I reported for duty. I could not get to my own station. It must have been half past midnight. I always thought that my family had found the right way. According to the evidence, they took the wrong way, up Jägerstraße, remnants of them were found in houses nos. 3 and 5. It was too late to run up that street.
The people I had taken with me behaved well and calmly. On the cemetery was a bomb crater in which a whole group of children from the Fröbel School were sitting. The children were very calm. In our cellar there were also children. My three-year old grandson had asked: “Grandpa, will the wicked Englishmen make us dead?” No, boy,” I said, “they won’t make you dead.”
Our house community consisted of 16 people; they were all in the cellar: families Franz and Alfred Aschemann (my son and I), Minna and Luise Aschemann, grandson Herbert, the Uderstadt family (two sons at the front), the Herrmann family (no children), the Himmelmann family, a five-year old girl, the Zietz family, their son (warrant officer) and a 11-year old daughter, the pensioner Wolf (bachelor).

Citation

Vermisstensuchstelle des Oberbürgermeisters der Stadt Kassel, “Franz Aschemann,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed November 14, 2019, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/7419.

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