Johanna L


Johanna L


Johanna L's account of the events in Kassel.



Temporal Coverage

Spatial Coverage





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Record 29


Translated from the original in German: Present is Mrs Johanna L., née D., now of Altendorf near Naumburg, and makes the following statement:
As soon as the alarm went we ran to the cellar. We kept our emergency luggage always down there. I had my handbag with tickets but our papers were in the cassette. Then the bombs started dropping and we lay down on the floor. The doors blew open and a phosphorous bomb was lying in front of the cellar. So we went across to the public shelter in no 10 and did not find a way out either. From our house all the people living there were in the cellar and my husband too. Here, in the public shelter, we first stood in the corridor but did not find a way out because we wanted to leave on account of it being full of smoke. In the room were only the people from the house, families Axt, Bämpfer, Unterhuber. Then strangers came through the breakthrough from the neighbouring house no. 12 and then also from nos. 6 and 4, they were also looking for a way out. And then I’d had 26 foreigners (Frenchmen) for dinner, civilians, of whom some were also in the shelter. We had the pub Steinwegschänke. Now we were looking for a way out.
A brave man, Mr Jacoby of no 12, cleared the exit and called us to come out and so we all left. We ran through the entrance hall of no 10 and meet an emergency team who looked after us. They took the children off us, my grandchild and her child and another grandchild. They were taken to the military academy. We had to leave that soon too. On Steinweg, everything was burning fiercely and full of rubble. Our house had big flames coming out of it. The whole street was on fire. There was barely a path where we could walk.
As we got out of the military academy, we had to cross the Friedrichsplatz but here too was a barely a path to walk, stones and wires hindered us. Because bombs had ripped up the paving and strewn the cobbles around. Some of our Frenchmen took the children off us and were very helpful. And so we made our way to the Aue. Down Du-Ry-Straße, then down the stairs at the theatre. We had to leave there again because of bombs with timers, went deeper into the Aue, turned left around the Karlswiese to the Schweizer house. We sat down in front of it. Here too a timer bomb went off. A Miss Kammler (from the NSV – the National Socialist People’s Welfare – from no 10) was injured above her eyes by this. There we stayed until morning when we were sent to the Marble Bath. At dawn we went back to our house but found only rubble.
When we decided to make our way from our shelter to the military academy, my husband wanted to go back into the cellar to save our cassette which was at the ready in the cellar. He did not come back. We did not find a trace of him. The cellar was completely burnt out, we were unable to get in for days. The phosphorous bomb had been directly at the entrance of the cellar and I assume that it set him on fire. Seventeen of our Frenchmen died. They probably suffocated in the public shelter.
My husband was wearing blue trousers, a jacket with grey stripes, a coat with a white armband and the words ‘auxiliary police’, a grey hat, shoes, a wedding band with J.D. 15.3.1914, two keys, a cassette?


Vermisstensuchstelle des Oberbürgermeisters der Stadt Kassel, “Johanna L,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 15, 2024,

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