Auguste Müller

Title

Auguste Müller

Description

Auguste Müller's account of the events at Turmgasse 4/Königsplatz 36 ½ (Wiedersichscher Keller), Königsplatz.

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Date

1944

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 100
BKasselVdObmv10100

Coverage

Conforms To

Spatial Coverage

Temporal Coverage

Transcription

Translated from the original in German: Present is Mrs Auguste Müller, née Mathies, born 17 September 1878, formerly of Turmstraße 4, now of Gottsbüren no. 211, and makes the following statement:
We had been cleaning the house all day. We were expecting visitors. He was the Staff Sergeant Robert Berg. He came from Radom and had arrived barely an hour earlier when his fiancée came (he is engaged to be married); she came in and said he should come to his parents. They had just left as the alarm sounded. They were in the cellar of their building and they managed to get out there.
Then the alarm came. We took our suitcases and went across the street, I and my daughter with her child (Mrs Frieda Breindl and Inge, five years old). So we arrived in the cellar of Widersich’s building). The cellar was already full. The people from the tram came too. We were in the last room, towards Magersuppe’s building. They were three buildings, actually. We heard the hits, I can tell you that. And then we were told that Magersuppe had had the first hits. So, the men ran out, my husband and Mr Heinzerling from our building. They wanted to help fight the fire. Then they came back.
My husband came back in and was shell-shocked. I said: “What did you do with your coat?” “I don’t know.” “Where is your key?” “You needn’t ask, all doors and windows are bust.” I said: “Never mind! As long as we save our lives.” And then, they came back again and said that they would have to take the boys with them. So, everyone was asking whether their building was on fire. “No, but no. 10 is.” Then they all ran away. Then one of the boys came back: “You are already back?” They were completely dazed. Mrs Schalles, the landlady of the wine bar – she’s dead now – lived in no. 6. Her grandchild saw too that my husband had gone into our house to save stuff. Mr Heinzerling came back through the underground passage which connects our house with the Wiedersich’s cellar, underneath the street. According to what Mr Heinzerling said, the house was suddenly in flames and my husband could not get back down. He must have burnt to death somewhere upstairs. He is gone without a trace. Even when the rubble was sifted nothing could be found of him.
Now everyone started crying, Mrs Schalles included; the Frenchmen who were billeted with her tried to comfort her. It was completely dark. Someone shone a torchlight. Suddenly a tall gentleman jumped into the cellar, ran towards the emergency exit and shouted: “All the men, go outside!” But my husband was already gone. But I shouted: “First get all the women and children out!” So, he said: “you are right!” I said: “Frieda, take your child on your arm and then come quickly.” And then we had already our mouths full of smoke. You couldn’t see a thing. There was a handrail, with the children, going up the steps. But people had probably taken their luggage with them, it was all blocked up, and I said: “Frieda, quick, let’s go to our exit.” So we went back to the exit on Turmgasse. There too the stairs were full of people. There was reddish smoke. You couldn’t breathe anymore. People were screaming: “Help! Help! We are going to die here, we are going to suffocate!” And the children were screaming, it was a dreadful to-do. So I made my way up on the left, following the wall, and I said: “I have to get to the water, I have to get to the water.” The door was ajar and I said: “Why don’t they open the doors?” Answer: “He won’t let us.”
The door was only a little ajar. There was a gentleman from the tramways. He went first, and one of the people guarding the exit said: “You can’t get out. There’s phosphorous and the ack-ack’s still shooting.” I said: “But we're are allowed to suffocate.” The man from the tramways ran, jumped out and I followed him. He turned towards Königsplatz. Stones were crashing down, the overhead wires were hanging down, everything was on fire, it was as light as day. I stood in a dark corner. I ran into the dark entrance hall of the Gingerbread House opposite the garrison church. I didn’t know where to go, the whole house was on fire except the entrance hall. I saw light in the cellar. I shouted down: “Is anyone there?” A gentleman came up: “What’s that supposed to mean?” “I’m not sure?” So he went back down and kept the door shut.
The flames now came from all sides and I kept an eye on the door. There was a woman from our building who came running down the street along the buildings. That was Mrs Weber from where we lived; she wanted to get to her daughter in Mittelgasse. But everything was on fire; she could not get through. So, she said: “We can’t stay here.” “Where should we go?” “I don’t know.” The sparks were flying, and stones were dropping and flakes were swirling around us. We didn’t have lying fire [phosphorous] yet. There was a young man; I assume that he had lifted my daughter out of the emergency exit. Mrs Weber said: “Where shall we go?” “Towards Kölnische Straße.” But there too everything was on fire. So, we ran to Königsplatz, there were tram cars but soon they were also on fire. We ran from one corner on the square to the next, from the tram to the bank on the corner of Kölnische Straße, and then one up from there to the Gingerbread House. There, we went into the cellar to soak our clothes, then ran across to Wiegand, the chemist’s. They had a big hall. I found my daughter there with her child. The room was full of people. She was crying so much. I also found Mrs Schalles there. Apart from them, I did not know anyone. There was a gentleman whose family was in there; he was in uniform. He called the members of his family by their names: “Come here; I’ll guide you out but I can’t take too many in one go.” He took me, my daughter and her child with him. He guided us back to the bank building.
A soldier was sitting there with a child on his arm; he had taken the child off a woman who had several children with her. He knew the woman’s name but nothing else about her. So he sat there, with the little mite on his arm. The man in uniform said: “There will be a car to take you away.” After a while, a covered van came. It rolled for two of its lengths and then it could not go on. The men had to get out and push. But it was no use. So we ran back to the tram cars (there must have been three of them) and stayed there. The van had come from Ständeplatz and gone to Königsplatz. The people who came from there were disappointed that the van had gone that way instead of the direction of Wilhelmshöhe. A woman came and said: “Many are running towards the Aue.” But we did not know how to get there because everything around us was on fire. The whole of Karlstraße was burning, including the corner where the chemist Mons is. Then we thought to go through Königstraße to Friedrichsplatz. We just wanted to get out as I saw flames shooting out of the Ufa [cinema]. The flames shot across the street and were as long as the entrance of the Ufa was broad. And the buildings opposite were all burning and there was such a noise, people were saying: “They’re still chucking it down from above.” But it is more likely that we heard the ceilings falling down. It was gruesome on Königsplatz, the fire made a rushing sound, it was terrible. My daughter stood on the tram steps to see when she would be able to get out. Two men from the emergency services suddenly appeared and said: “We’ll come and get you in a minute.”
And they came and got us later; they wrapped the child in a blanket and me in a blanket and said: “You can’t see a thing anyway; it’s all flames.” They had to tell us when we had to jump across beams and finally they got us to Friedrichsplatz and sat us on a bench. And after a while they took us to the theatre. Many people were there already. About an hour later, it must have been towards one o’clock, a gentleman came with a van: “I will take the women and children with me. Who wants to go to Jäger Barracks?” He took us with him. And we stayed in the barracks until the morning.
Later, we looked for my husband but did not find anything. When we arrived there on foot, there were many bodies laid out on Friedrichsplatz. But I could not face trying to find my husband among them. So we went to the Schöne Aussicht where we found other people from our building and Turmgasse. So I said to my daughter: “Your father’s dead. I can feel it.” No one had seen him. And she had to cry really hard. We made our way to Oberzwehren and from there to Elgershausen. From there to Marsberg, to my son. It has been said that a body had been lying right at the entrance to Wiedersich but my son had a look and thought that this was not our Father.

Citation

Vermisstensuchstelle des Oberbürgermeisters der Stadt Kassel, “Auguste Müller,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed November 17, 2019, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/8958.

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