Emmy O


Emmy O


Emmy O's account of the events at Königsplatz (post office), Ziegengasse 13.



Temporal Coverage

Spatial Coverage





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Record 19


Translated from the original in German: Present is Miss Emmy O., formerly of Ziegengasse 13, and reports:
About half seven we had shift change at the air raid warning service at the post office. At that point we already had hostile activity. From the direction, we realised that Kassel was the target. And as the first bombs dropped, the building next door was hit. Our staffroom was in that building. It was connected to us through a door on the ground floor (Königsstraße [63], the building where the shoe shop Tack was). Then dreadful smoke and fumes; the lights went out. We had to work by lamplight. The smoke became so unbearable, however, we could not see anything, but we had to continue our work and the phone worked until the end. The post office above us was also on fire which we realised because we could hear the beams falling onto the ceiling above us. And through the explosions, the whole floor vibrated. It was like being on a train. We worked until about ten. Then the order was given to evacuate the office. We were led to the canteen. Because all exits were blocked, the canteen operator led us through burning corridors and finally I realised that I had cobbles underneath my feet.
That’s how I knew that we were on Königsplatz. Everything was on fire there, the sparks flew around our hair. We stood there for half an hour. The officers thought we’d be lost if we stayed here and we wanted to make our way up Königstraße but then the houses collapsed and we had to turn back. On the second attempt, when we were wearing gas masks, we got as far as Friedrichsplatz. I spent the night on the Schöne Aussicht because we could not get back to our digs in Park Schönfeld and also not to Wilhelmshöher Allee. We therefore had to stay on Friedrichsplatz. Some of the girls went to the state museum and spent the night there in the warning centre. I stayed on Schöne Aussicht and looked for my relatives. Then a car came from the Lüttich barracks which took us to the barracks. But I came back and searched for my parents every day but have not found anything about my parents.
A Mrs Schär got out of our house. She wrote to me: After the raid my father and brother went to the attic to check. At that point the house was not yet on fire. Then they went up again when the fire started. They could not get it under control. Mrs Schär tried to escape through the breakthroughs but after the first two, the third cellar had collapsed. They could not continue that way. So she ran with her daughter and her brother-in-law out of the house and the others should have followed them but did not come. Maybe they tried later and it was too late. My mother had been in the hall. Nothing could be found of her. They found my father. I carried the stones away; soldiers brought him out. It was terribly hot and the following day they only retrieved charred bodies. Nothing has been found of my brother and my mother.


Vermisstensuchstelle des Oberbürgermeisters der Stadt Kassel, “Emmy O,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 21, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/7485.

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