Johanna Burghardt


Johanna Burghardt


Johanna Burghardt's account of the events at Oberste Gasse 10.



Temporal Coverage

Spatial Coverage





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Record 31


Translated from the original in German: Present is Mrs Johanna Burghardt, born 26 March 1892, formerly of Oberste Gasse 10, now of Kunoldstraße 5 and makes the following statement:
As soon as the alarm came, we went down in the cellar and that’s where we stayed until someone came and told us that we should get out. It was probably someone from the civilian emergency service. You can’t hear much in our cellar. We noticed that blockbusters came down and that there was a blaze but on the whole, the air remained good in the cellar. All the residents were in the cellar. The young women with children left earlier than we older married couples and that’s why they died, all of them. The others went through a breakthrough towards the end of our blind alley and towards Steinweg. I can’t tell you what became of them. Several gentlemen claimed to have seen them lying there at the end of the alley where the print shop of the orphanage is.
We ran with two Dutchmen and four women towards Königsplatz whereas my husband went through a breakthrough with several others; they got out directly on Friedrichsplatz. That’s why the older people survived. We went past the garrison church, always keeping to the middle of the street. Around us was a sea of fire, we couldn’t see anything else and people who stood there, lost, and who did not know where to go. We also saw children, of about eight years of age, who had their mother with them. On Königsplatz we got into a tramcar which was very crowded where we kept the windows shut so that the sparks from the fire couldn’t come in. And after about twenty minutes, another gentleman from the civilian emergency service came and said we had to get out as the tramcar had begun to smoulder from below. It was an unbearable heat there.
And then the emergency service man guided us to Friedrichsplatz. Near the cinema, houses began to collapse and on the right and when we came to Friedrichsplatz, the stalls at the front for the fair started to burn and we had to get out of ours as it began to smell of burning. So we made our way towards to the middle of the square where the office barracks had burnt down and from there to the theatre. There we sat all night. By and by, we met people from our house, I also found my husband again, and then cars came and women and children were taken away. The car drove us along Schöne Aussicht, down Weinberg, along Frankfurter Straße to Wittich Barracks. There, we were received in an exemplary manner, we got something to eat and drink, they were very nice the soldiers. Some people had also swollen eyes, they received treatment. We stayed there until Sunday afternoon when people were taken to various towns and villages. We were taken to Oberlistingen. They accommodated us well and several of our residents are still there and I came back to Kassel because I am employed.


Vermisstensuchstelle des Oberbürgermeisters der Stadt Kassel, “Johanna Burghardt,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed July 21, 2024,

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