Hannah, K


Hannah, K


Mrs Hannah, K's account of the events at Wildemannsgasse 19 (“Pinne”).



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Record 12


Translated from the original in German: Present is Mrs Hannah K., née Sch., born 19 December 1913, from Sanderhausen and makes the following statement:
We were burnt down in the terror attack of 23 October. We moved in with my mother-in-law in the Pinne [a pub]. When the alarm came, we immediately went down. This time, they were all down early. We were not in the big public shelter but the little one for people living in the house. Then the raid started and my mother-in-law and my husband were standing together in another part of the cellar opposite. I was frightened and ran into the big shelter with my child (Manfred, born 3 February 1940). And it was like that: When the smoke started to come in, I saw that people held cloths in front of their mouths. I took the boy’s underpants off so that he could hold them damp against his mouth. Then we ran back into the cellar where we had been first. My husband had been looking for me and calling me and he was supposed to help open the breakthroughs. And I was fairly lively and suddenly we were out of water. The boy became sleepy. I thought we’ll suffocate. A woman from the big shelter whom I didn’t know, gave me something sweet and I said: “Give the boy something too,” and I think the boy flinched and fell back. I was not with it anymore and thought my boy was with me and then ran somewhere else. For days I thought I had the boy with me. And then people shouted we should kneel and I did and then the light went out and I fell over. I did not feel any pain, I was only sleepy. My husband fell over a heap of sand in the corridor. The only carried him out at half ten because dead bodies were lying on him. It had been thought that he too was dead.
I woke up about eight in the morning. I fell asleep a long time after the raid. Possibly about one. The others were already all lying there and were all asleep. When I woke up I noticed the fresh air. A woman was lying on top of me and had a leg over me or it was even two women, and I said to the people to give me a hand but the women were themselves unconscious. I shouted for help but no one came. But then rescue units came. I picked myself up. I kept shouting “Manfred!” and then a child shouted “Mummy!” and I’m certain it was him. Around me were lots of dead children. Mine was not among them. Then it went dark. The rescuers came and carried me out. I shouted: my child is still in there. It’s possible that he was lying there and I didn’t see him. I was brought to the Renthof. I thought they would bring my boy too, they also brought many people but not my child. I was so dazed and weak, I could not look after my child. I think it is possible that the unknown woman who gave me something against fainting, took the child because she thought I didn’t want him anymore. More children were saved than adults, probably because they had less smoke down there. I should have stayed with my husband, then this would not have happened. The following morning (Saturday) I found my husband. He was at the Renthof. There were so many dead people and he looked at them all. Then we ran to the Pinne where they carried out the dead. There were so many, they could not bring them all out at the same time. We then travelled to Rengershausen and the next day back to Kassel although we should have gone to Fulda but we did not have the peace to do so. And then we looked at more dead people from the Pinne, only at the Pinne. But we did not find our boy. The rescue units told us that they had brought out dead and living children. They did not know anything about our boy. It was said that that they had all been laid out at the cemetery, all the dead, but I did not know that they were there.
Description of my boy: dark blond hair, eyes grey-blue, of average size, round face, jabbered the whole day, couldn’t say his name. When he could not remember his name, he always said: “I am a boy!” He was dressed in a light blue jumper, I draped my brown cardigan around him, blue shoes and knee-socks.


Vermisstensuchstelle des Oberbürgermeisters der Stadt Kassel, “Hannah, K,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 21, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/7420.

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