Heinz W


Heinz W


Heinz W's account of the events at Königsplatz 36 ½, Turmgasse.

Temporal Coverage

Spatial Coverage





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Record 36


Translated from the original in German: Present is sculptor Heinz W. (lance corporal assigned to the supervision of foreign labourers) and states:
The following can be reported about the former French PoW working for the Anton Henschel Company. The Frenchman had fled with many others to the cellar in the Turmgasse. In the cellar, air was running out. Smoke got into the cellar through the ventilation pumps. Police stopped people from leaving the room. The fires in the Turmgasse were too fierce. Many people in the cellar had lost consciousness. The Frenchman searched for the exit and found it in the Turmgasse. In the cellar was a woman with two small children. The bigger of the two ran out of the cellar with me, the little one I tucked under my tunic and so we ran to the Königsplatz. The mother stayed in the cellar because she was afraid of the fire. I have burns on my head. The policeman in the cellar said that it would be impossible to leave the room without being burnt to death. We should wait until the houses had burnt down. When I told him that I was French, he said I could do as I pleased.
[In the following a partly more detailed account:]
After a while, the air in the cellar ran out. Smoke and fumes got in. Through the ventilation more fumes from the fire entered. Many people had already fallen unconscious. I therefore searched for an exit and found one towards Turmgasse. The policeman on duty tried to stop me from leaving and told me that at best I would get a few meters away and then burn to death. I should wait until the houses had burnt down. But many people in the cellar were already unconscious. When I told him that I was French, he said that I could do as I pleased. A woman with two children had followed me to the exit and I took her 1½-year old under my jacket and ran down Turmgasse to the Königsplatz. The woman’s other boy followed me. The woman stayed in the cellar because she was afraid of the fire. She suffocated. I suffered burns on my head. But I saved myself and the children.


Vermisstensuchstelle des Oberbürgermeisters der Stadt Kassel, “Heinz W,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed July 25, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/8693.

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