Gretel S


Gretel S


Gretel S's account of the events at Wildemannsgasse 19 (Pinne), Kastenalsgasse 34.


IBCC DIgital Archive




Harry Ziegler


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Record 68


Conforms To

Spatial Coverage

Temporal Coverage


Translated from the original in German: Present is Mrs Gretel S., née W., born 22 September 1914, formerly of Kastenalsgasse 34, now of Keplerstraße 17, and makes the following statement:
Listen, I tell you how it happened. During the alarm, the pub Gasthof Sommer in the Graben took a direct hit. And I said to my gran: “Look, people are all black, as if they were coming out of a mine.” And then, for the first time, I let myself be talked to go to the Pinne. If I had stayed in our house, we would have been fine. Because my husband, who was the caretaker, saved 73 people. I ran with my gran and the two children, Irmgart and Brigitte, to the Pinne. Mrs Schäfer from our house came also with us. I can’t really tell what happened in the Pinne because I passed out and as I came to again, I heard my daughter scream: “Mum, I’m suffocating!” She was lying in the cellar under a pile of dead bodies. And the little one I had on my arm and she was still alive at six in the morning. Then I passed out again and then I woke up. The child was lying at my feet. And I wanted to ask the woman next to me whether she had any matches but she was already cold and dead. And my little girl was still screaming and that was good. But I could not see her because I did not have a light. Because the older one kept screaming, I kept waking up and survived. In the morning, about seven or half past, they started digging us out. I came to. Listen, they cleared a bit. I shouted: “Dear man, please help me to pull out the child!” I could not get up because of all the dead people at my feet. Two soldiers came in. I shouted: “Dear man, please help pull out my child!” They got the older one out and me; the little one was already stone cold. Then they brought me to the sports ground. And then I woke up and looked for the older one and found my husband in the school at the rampart. I shouted: “The children, the children!” And we found the older one at the sports ground. She had her eye and the right leg bandaged and she had phosphorous burns. I don’t know how she got them.
She then was in hospital in Münden for four weeks and recovered thank goodness. The little one we found three days later outside the Pinne with a tag. I was not allowed to take the child because she was dead.
On the sports ground a child lay next to my Irmgart. That was an eleven-year old girl who was looking for her mother. I don’t know whether she found her mother.


Vermisstensuchstelle des Oberbürgermeisters der Stadt Kassel, “Gretel S,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed September 21, 2020,

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