Three anonymous accounts

Title

Three anonymous accounts

Description

Anonymous accounts of the events at Rolandstraße 9, ‘Haus Windhuk’.

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Contributor

Harry Ziegler

Rights

This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.

Language

Type

Identifier

Record 41
BKasselVdObmv10041

Coverage

Conforms To

Spatial Coverage

Temporal Coverage

Transcription

Translated from the original in German: Account A, no date:
Mrs R., of Rolandstraße 5, makes the following statement:
The authorised representative Kutscher lived in Haus Windhuk with his second wife and his son who was a lieutenant in the air force. His first wife is divorced and has their younger son. Kutscher was authorised representative of Henschel and Son. On the upper floor of the single-family house lived the daughter of the merchant Conrad of Wilhelmshöher Allee.
First we heard the incendiaries drop. Mr Schulze wanted to leave the cellar and go up to the attic to put out the fire. The bombs had dropped through the roof into the front room of the first floor. But I called him back, it was like a foreboding, at the last minute – and then came the detonation of an explosive bomb. It dropped into the garden next to Haus Windhuk in Kaiser-Friedrich-Straße. It felt as if the whole house had been lifted up and set back down the wrong way round. Then we heard knocking on our breakthrough and we heard voices. I helped knock through the breakthrough to no 7 – the elderly ladies from next door crawled through into our cellar and were very distraught. Their house had been ripped open at the southern wall and now stands there like a doll’s house with all the rooms and the bathroom open on the street. Their air raid shelter had been ripped open on the south-easterly corner, the wall underground had been pushed in, and above ground it had been pushed out. It was sheer luck that the people had been staying in the middle corridor because it was warmer there.
I crawled through the breakthrough over the rubble and then we saw Haus Windhuk burning. It was a pile of rubble and the beams were pointing plaintively into the air and everything was on fire. The house had collapsed and the cellar ceiling caved in because it had been built in the inflation period without iron girders. It was a slight house. The residents had been killed immediately. We already saw in the night that there was no one to be rescued.
It was a terrible chaos and nothing could be done. Mr Bröhl wanted to fight the fire. But I said: “There is nothing to be done, there’s nothing to save and it’ll burn down anyway. You can’t help the people in there anymore.” The big stones of tuff from the foundations had been thrown everywhere. The trees had been razed. On the Tuesday or Thursday after, they dug out the bodies. The family had only lived there since 1 March. They had rented it from Mrs Scheele of Sachsen-straße 7.
Account B, undated:
Mrs K., the daughter of the merchant Martin Conrad of Wilhelmshöher Allee 326, makes the following statement:
On the Sunday before the attack, [Mr Kutscher’s] daughter-in-law [to be] had come from Werder. Friday, 22 October, was her birthday. We wanted to celebrate her engagement in Kassel. He was a lieutenant in the air force, no longer a pilot but stationed in Munich because he had crashed into the North Sea and since then had problems with his nerves. He was doing office duty now. I am not aware that he had been decorated with the Knight’s Cross. His parents were lovely people. Mr Kutscher had rang them in Leipzig from Henschel’s on the same day about 4 in the afternoon.
I had my rooms on the upper floor and as I have no children, I stayed at home with my parents where I always help out and had been working on the books when the alarm came. If my husband had still been in Kassel, I would also have been buried under the rubble. But he had left for the East eight days earlier.
Mrs Kutscher had no idea of the tragedy that would befall them in Haus Windhuk. She used to say to me: “If it gets hairy, come into our cellar, where you live on Wilhelmshöher Allee is certainly more dangerous than here. No one’s going to drop a bomb on our little house.”
Account C, dated 16 March 1944:
According to the testimony of schools inspector Betting the following took place in Villa Windhuk:
A young night fighter had brought his bride from southern Germany to Kassel and wanted to present her to his parents during a short period of leave. It was on that evening. When they were all sitting together, the alarm came. Soon after the first bombs had been dropping a heavy bomb dropped on Kaiser-Friedrich-Straße ten meters away from the house and destroyed the whole Villa Windhuk. The young bridal couple and their parents could only be dug out eight days later and were buried. They were all dead.

Citation

Vermisstensuchstelle des Oberbürgermeisters der Stadt Kassel, “Three anonymous accounts ,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed July 13, 2020, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/8699.

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