Gretel B


Gretel B


Gretel B's account of the events at Moltkestraße 9.



Temporal Coverage

Spatial Coverage





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Record 26


Translated from the original in German: Present is Mrs Gretel B., née B., formerly with her foster-parents Ernst and Charlotte Treibach, née Wiegand, of Moltkestraße 9 (now of Bockumer Weg 145, Hamm)
When the alarm came we went down to the cellar where all the people living there sat together, fairly quietly and peacefully. Then people opened the breakthrough from the side of no 9 because they had allegedly a severe hit. So we all fled to no 7. Already during the raid some people ran out of the house. I can’t imagine where. Because no 11 was already on fire. We therefore wanted to make our way towards Königstraße but it must have been the same in nos. 3 and 5 because the photographer König came in. Because we were told that women and children should go first, I went up with our little one. The raid had just finished. At first, I wanted to go through the hall with the child. We had no water left in the cellar because everyone had already soaked their clothes and blankets. So we stood at the cellar door of no. 9 at about 10 o’clock. The whole street was on fire, the entrance hall, everything was a sea of flames. So I returned to the cellar.
Mr Grote sat there and a foreigner (a Dutchman?) and an old lady from Gießbergstraße who had fled into our house. She has been buried under the name Hubenthal, a woman who lived in our house. That is, however, a mix-up caused by their resemblance of each other. So we sat in the cellar. My boy (Ernst Dieter, five years old) passed out and I put him on a bench. I then went to sleep too because I was so tired. When I came to, I was lying in the Red Cross. We had been put on straw sacks in the long corridors. That was Sunday around 10. Then we were transported to Witzenhausen to the auxiliary military hospital. I was unable to walk, I had neuroparalysis in my left leg. I also suffered from severe smoke poisoning. My little boy had already been buried; he probably suffocated in the dense smoke. I have no idea who got me out.
It would appear that 67 skulls have been found in the cellar of no 7; I assume that my foster-parents are among the dead. My boy has been identified before they buried him. Friends saw him lying on the pavement outside the front door. It seems that I am the only one who was brought out alive.
The unknown lady looked very much like Mrs Hubenthal from our house. But she was with her parents in no 7. She was about 50 to 60 years old, with black hair and glasses, and wore a blue coat with brown fur.
Once, the people in no 7 had run out and wanted to brave the flames but they had to turn back and threw themselves on the ground and shouted: “I’m on fire! I’m burning!” So many people came through the breakthroughs and entrance halls that you couldn’t keep track of them.


Vermisstensuchstelle des Oberbürgermeisters der Stadt Kassel, “Gretel B ,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed July 25, 2024,

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