Karl Heinz K


Karl Heinz K


Karl Heinz K's account of the events at Müllergasse 2.



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Spatial Coverage





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Record 33


Translated from the original in German: Present is Karl Heinz K., born 24 August 1930, formerly of Müllergasse 2, and makes the following statement:
When the alarm came, I was in the school on night watch. As the alarm sounded we went on the street and watched the searchlights. When these had isolated a plane, the ack-ack started to shoot and we went into the cellar. Just before the bombs started dropping, I and my friend Homburg fetched a bottle of cocoa. Slowly people from the neighbourhood started to assemble in the cellar. They always came to the cellar during an alarm. They went to the compartments to which they had been assigned. When the first bombs started dropping, the teacher Dietmar made the rounds. When he came to the cellar, he told us that there were already fires in the neighbourhood. It didn’t take long and people arrived whose houses had been damaged. They told us that it was a massive raid.
When we heard bombs dropping on the school, we wanted to go and fight the fire. We did this for a while but the fire could not be contained. The teacher ordered me to run to the next police station and to get a message to them. I got as far as Orleansstraße and could not go on. I ran back. The paper mill opposite was on fire and there was a powerful storm. When I came back to cellar, the lights had gone out and the caretaker had lit the paraffin lamps. In the meantime, a hundred or two hundred people had congregated. Then a navy officer arrived and said: “The people have to get out of the cellar because it won’t be long until the building collapses and then many will die.” When a lot of people had gone outside, we left through the emergency exit towards Schillerstraße.
We went diagonally across, where we sought shelter in a cobbler’s shop. The school was already ablaze down to the raised ground floor. The ack-ack had stopped shooting. But we heard as the train with ammunitions exploded in the train station of the lower town. We left because this house too started to burn and went to the train station in the lower town. We tried to get down Wolfhager Straße because we wanted to see how things were at home. My friend lived at Klosterplatz. We could not get through, however, because houses were falling down.
So we tried to get there through Mombachstraße. We managed to do that. When we reached Holländische Straße, I said: “Let’s go that way so that we get onto the rampart.” This was okay until Schauburg (the cinema). From there on, the houses were on fire. We put our tin hats and gas masks on and walked towards Holländische Platz. We reached it well enough and went through Bernardistraße and intended to go through Kastenalsgasse to Pferdemarkt, And from there to Müllergasse. But we could not get through the fire and so we went to Secondary Modern no 5. In the cellar there, we lay down on cement bags. We were wearing our Nazi Youth uniforms and tried to sleep. But the crackling and thudding of the beams did not let us settle. We tried to get through towards morning. On the way, I met other residents from our house who were still alive: Mrs Ulrich and her brother-in-law. They told me that she had not seen my parents since she left the cellar.
At about ten, I went through Artilleriestraße where I met a friend of my father’s, who was looking for his wife and child (Mr Heinemann of Müllergasse 4). I went with him through all the cellars – my friend had already left – and we were looking for my parents and siblings but did not find anything. When we returned to the rampart, a bomb with a timer went off. Many were hit by the lumps which that threw through the air. One woman got one on the head and died immediately. So I went with Mr Heinemann to his parents-in-law. We stayed the night there (Gensungen). The next day, we went back to Kassel. Outside of our house I met my uncle (Mr Heinrich K.). We went with him to the house of his sister-in-law in Breitenbach near Kassel. The following day, as we were again in Kassel, we went back to our house. We went in the cellar there and carried a few things out. The salvage crews had already brought five bodies out. The baker Kasten from Pferdemarkt was one of them and his wife and some other people living at Pferdemarkt 29. When I went to the ramparts, I found my gran. She had come from Orpetal, on the Monday. I went home with her and live there now. Nothing has been found of my relatives.


Vermisstensuchstelle des Oberbürgermeisters der Stadt Kassel, “Karl Heinz K,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed July 25, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/8690.

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