Karl Kniese


Karl Kniese


Karl Kniese's account of the events at Wolfhager Straße 11, train station in the lower town.


IBCC Digital Archive




Harry Ziegler


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Record 65


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Spatial Coverage

Temporal Coverage


Translated from the original in German: Present is Mr Karl Kniese, born 23 October 1876, master baker, formerly of Wolfhager Straße 11, now of Wittichstraße 57 and makes the following statement:
When the alarm came, I was baking a cake because the following day was my birthday and that is why I was not prepared, I was wearing my oldest clothes. And we went down in the cellar. It did not take long and the first bombers arrived. And then it started. Right at the start I had my hat blown off my head four times; that must have been because of the blockbusters. In my house lived the regimental paymaster Rein and the staff sergeant Döhne – he boarded with his sister-in-law, Mrs Schönewolf. And these two gentlemen said: “We have to get out, there is a danger that we will suffocate down here.” So we went through the breakthrough into the next cellar. The people in our house were fairly quiet but as we came into no. 13, there were two women who held little children on their arms; they screamed terribly and we stood packed like sardines. Then we were told: “There’s a vehicle which will take women and children away.” And when the vehicle came, it burnt down immediately on the street. There was no possibility to get transport for the women and children.
I went up to the street and gentleman said to me: “Run down to the train station in the lower town, you’ll be safe there.” I am a widower. In the street, it was terrible. I had to beat down fire from my loden coat because it had caught fire. I then made my way to the pub Zum Adler. The house had not yet caught fire and the landlord, Mr Kramer, said to his tenants: “We’ll get our house through this.” But that was not possible because after a while the water supply failed. So I went down to the train station and spend the night on the tracks. All of the coal bunkers were on fire. It was a mess, we were so black as if we had carried coals the whole day and sweated while doing it. My face was full of soot. People were all sitting there, dazed, just as myself.
You know, the first and second days I did not think about the misfortune because everyone I met had been had suffered the same, and it was a certain consolation, even if a bad one, that there was no one who was better off.


Vermisstensuchstelle des Oberbürgermeisters der Stadt Kassel, “Karl Kniese,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed September 27, 2020, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/8731.

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