Karl E


Karl E


Police Sergeant Karl E's account of the events at Police Station no 4 (Reuterstraße 12) and Moltke-straße 8.



Temporal Coverage

Spatial Coverage





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Record 25


Translated from the original in German: Present is the station sergeant Karl E., formerly of Moltkestraße 8, and makes the following statement:
The afternoon of 22 October I happened to be off-duty. If there was an alarm or a visible raid, we had to come to the station house. When the alarm started, I went immediately, took in the situation and got as far as Mauerstraße. Then I could see the Christmas trees in the sky. My wife had stayed at home. I thought I could make it to the station house but only got as far as Schillerstraße 7. Then the first bombs started dropping. Half a minute had passed. I took cover there. There was a dreadful commotion in the house. Then I went through the breakthrough to no 9 but opposite is the butcher’s Jacob, no 14. Heavy incendiaries had dropped on that and the house was ablaze. I calmed down the people there as best as I could. The shocks were massive. The people were so frightened, they nearly tore my tunic off. I said as soon as the raid is over and the firestorm starts, we’ll have to look for escape routes, as I had been trained in these matters.
Then I got as far as Schillerstraße 29 or 31, the Trieschmann bakery, the house was still in fairly good condition. I went into the yard there, where the flames came in from the houses on the sides. We started firefighting anyway and I helped, the house is still there. I got a wound on my arm, the tunic was full of blood. From there a searched for a way out. I met a captain from the artillery who did not know his way around. We wanted to get up Schillerstraße but Schwaab’s lumberyard was ablaze. There was no getting through on that street. So he came back and I thought that Orleansstraße was our only escape route, although my eyesight was getting worse through the smoke. From there I stopped in the house to the right of Wenderoth and took some civilians with me. Here the rubble was already several feet high. A woman was in a house who could not walk, I had her collected later by a car from the station. Then I told people to hurry but not to run so that they would not fall because there were so many lumps of fire. Those who fell hardly got up again. So we went to the train station in the lower town. I then reported to my police station. Our commanding officer, first lieutenant Koch, sent me to the terminal of tramline 1 at Holländische Straße. We were to show the way to a regiment of firefighters. But the chief of the fire brigade was already there and took command. I returned to my station towards six in the morning after I had tried unsuccessfully to reach my wife in Moltkestraße. The following morning half of the house had collapsed but the people living there could not be found. The cellars were on fire because in our house, we had about 500 hundredweight of coal bunkered there. An incendiary had dropped through a hole into a pile of briquettes and because of that, everything was set on fire. Of the people in the house we only found unrecognisable parts of bodies. My wife is missing without a trace.


Vermisstensuchstelle des Oberbürgermeisters der Stadt Kassel, “Karl E,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 15, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/7497.

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