Käthe Sch


Käthe Sch


Mrs Käthe Sch's account of the events at Luisenstraße 2, Old Barracks (north wing), Railway Bunker, Bismarckstraße. Included is a statement by her son, Harry.



Temporal Coverage

Spatial Coverage





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Record 15


Translated from the original in German: Present is Mrs Käthe Sch., née Sch., born 5 January 1906, and makes the following statement:
Before eight in the evening, the wireless stopped. That’s when we put our coats on. We had tickets for the bunker of the railway. With me were my daughter (19 years old) and my grandchild, my parents and my 15-year old son. My siblings (the Gutheil family) had already gone ahead. The alarm started towards eight o’clock. Then my parents and I ran to the bunker. My son, as dispatch runner, had to stay there. By about half nine we were told that our house and the whole street were on fire. At about ten my son turned up completely black in the face. He had been helping with putting out fires in our house and then had been buried. (Cf. the report of the son which makes no mention of this.) But the men managed to get out. Some women had stayed back. Towards eleven, we noticed smoke coming into the bunker. The children started to cry and our eyes started to water. But there was no water for us because it became so scarce that we were not allowed to take any. Then we sat there. The bunker takes 800 people and 1200 were there. It was a terrible ordeal and our tongues burnt with thirst.
At six, I got out to have a look around and got as far as Westendstraße. Where Hohenzollernstraße is, I turned back. You couldn’t get through. Everything was on fire. Sparks were flying. It was terribly windy. So I went back. We sat there until half seven. It was morning. We were told we had to get out. The air was all used up and we would suffocate. And so we left, ran through the flames up Bismarckstraße and through Kölnische Straße to the town hall. On the way, we saw many bombed-out people, sitting on chairs along the street or on the curb. And they had their bundles. I did not hear much wailing and moaning. Here, less was on fire. In the town hall were given milk to drink and were taken to the Wittich barracks. From there we moved to Gemünden and der Wohra where we are living in a flat of our own.
The son, Harry T., born 17 November 1928, makes the following statement:
When the others had left the house, I stayed in the flat at first. Then I stood by the front door of the house. Then the ack ack started firing. Then fire broke out on Hohenzollern-straße. The air raid warden, Mrs Almeroth, got us out for firefighting because our attic started burning. While we were putting out fires, an explosive bomb dropped in a corner of the yard. The hose caught fire while we were firefighting. When we couldn’t go on anymore as the fire was too fierce and we had run out of water, we went down to the entrance hall. On the ground floor, the flat of the Hungerland family was on fire. They carried their furniture into the entrance hall. But it was destroyed by fire anyway. That flat was directly above the air raid cellar and because there was danger that the house would collapse, the air raid warden said people should go to the shelter in Bismarckstraße. It was sometime between 10 and half past. And as there was nothing left to salvage – our flat had also been destroyed already – I went up Westendstraße, through Parkstraße to the shelter on Bismarckstraße. In Westendstraße some people were still on the street. I had to pay attention that I did not get hit by something, stones or masonry or wooden beams. All the people from our wing of the house went to the Bismarckbunker. Herr Ferdinand Theune was killed. He tried to get back into the house to fetch his dog because it was barking so. Then the house collapsed. I don’t know what happened to his wife and his many children. I went back there in the morning, at about six, but by that time the house was just a pile of rubble.


Vermisstensuchstelle des Oberbürgermeisters der Stadt Kassel, “Käthe Sch,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 23, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/7478.

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