Marie St

Title

Marie St

Description

Marie St's account of the events at Waisenhausstraße 14, Marstall, Mühlengasse nos. 27 and 29.

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Date

1944-03-22

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 48
BKasselVdObmv10048

Coverage

Conforms To

Spatial Coverage

Temporal Coverage

Transcription

Translated from the original in German: Present is Mrs Marie St., née S., born 19 November 1899, former address Waisenhausstraße 14, now living in Brüdersen, district Wolfshagen, and makes the following statement:
When the alarm came, we took our luggage and ran quickly to the Marstall. My daughter Irmgard and my sons Karlheinz and Eberhard were with me. We went across the big bridge. On our way, we saw a plane trapped in the searchlights. We were just on Brüderstraße. Then we went into the shelter in the Marstall (the main entrance on the left, still impeccable today, a big vaulted cellar, it’s fairly high). Stormtroopers from the special deployment section were there, families with children, the landlord (of the Storm-trooper’s social club) Ernst Moll and his wife. They were also there.
My son Karlheinz only brought us to the entrance of the shelter and then had to report for duty. From that moment, I have no knowledge as to what happened to him. Acquaintances have not seen him either. The last known location is supposedly the old fort. But there everyone had to leave too, people scattered. Then someone said that people in nos. 25, 27 and 29 of Mühlengasse were still in danger. And his friend, Horst Holland, said to him: “Oh, Karlheinz, my mother is also stuck down there.” So they left, with a third boy by the name of Wilhelm Ludwig to go down there and see whether they could get her out. No one knows what happened next because no one from those houses got out alive.
When the explosions started, we lay flat on the floor. I always shouted to my children: “Irmgard and Eberhard, keep your mouths open!” But we had water in the shelter; that was our salvation because we could hold wet cloths in front our mouths so that the smoke did not suffocate us. Then brick, earth and mortar started coming down from the ceiling; that nearly did suffocate us. The light went out. And then came an enormous hit, the door to the shelter was blown open by the air pressure and the whole mess came down into our cellar. People were fairly brave and quiet. The Stormtroopers had whistles. They used them to get help. We heard many people shouting for help in the neighbourhood. That may have come mainly from the market square and the Freiheiter Durchbruch. We kept shouting come over here, because we still had enough room and we were still protected. But people did not have the courage because you had to cross the yard first in which there were burning beams already. They had probably fallen down from Marstall. Finally the police came and shouted: “Are there still people down there?” One of the Stormtroopers blew his whistle. So policemen came; they took the children by the hand and we followed them. But there was so much smoke and fire that I could not see whether my little boy was among them.
We ran to the Rondell in single file, carefully along the wall, to the war memorial (Aue Gate), down the stairs to the little bridge. After we had come together again and duds were still going off, Mr Moll said: “We had better get ourselves to safety.” So we made our way along the public swimming pool and the Aue embankment to Kurhessen sports ground. There was a locked barrack which the soldier from the panzers tore open. On the way, we had met more women with infants. So we put those women in the beds which were still standing there. There was also a fire in the room and it was quite comfortable. We then tried to nap a bit sitting on the chairs but that was not possible. We were so agitated that we could not sleep. When it dawned, we got up and made our way to the Graf Häseler Barracks. Mr Moll made the guide. He then also found his boy who had been active as dispatch runner.
In the barracks, the chief sergeant Hauke had us fed and provided us with a place where to sleep. He gave us his bedroom because his family had been evacuated. We slept a few hours there and then I went into town to look for my boy. We went back and on Sunday I went again to search for him. They would not let us into the old fort, however, it had been closed off by the police. In the belief that the boy had gone to Bründersen where my sister lives, I took my children from Rosengarten in Zwehren to Altenstädt which is where I am from and then we went to Bründersen to my sister’s. The first question was: “Is Karlheinz here?” The answer was: “No.”
On Monday I could not go to Kassel, I had to be sick. On Tuesday morning, I travelled back to Kassel to make inquiries about my boy. When I got to Holzmarkt, his friend Willi Heger said to me: “Karlheinz is dead. I found him myself, in Mühlen-gasse 27. He had lost both of his legs up to the knee.” I asked him whether it was really him and he said: “I recognised him by his two gold fillings in the front teeth and by his sports shirt.” He must have been injured and not burnt because he was supposedly lying in a puddle of blood. That’s all I know. Mrs Wollenhaupt wrote in a letter, she could remember how he left them in Waisenhausstraße, he’d looked like a firefighter. He must therefore have returned to our flat before the attack. He had fetched his tin hat and his sheath knife.
I have been told that he was buried in Bettenhausen together with Lieselotte Happel. But the identification tag must have dropped off because he has been buried as an unidentified person. A Mrs Orth and a Mrs Clobus are also buried with him. So I went to Bettenhausen to the cemetery but could not get any information about his grave.
My son Karlheinz, born 30 April 1928, was the twin of Irmgard.
My husband is with the ack-ack somewhere near Würzburg; he’s been a soldier for the last four years now.

Citation

Vermisstensuchstelle des Oberbürgermeisters der Stadt Kassel, “Marie St,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed July 13, 2020, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/8706.

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