- Contributed by
- Essex Action Desk
- People in story:
- Ingre-Lore Clark
- Location of story:
- East-West Germany
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 09 August 2005
This story was submitted to the People's War website by a volunteer from BBC Essex on behalf of Ingre-Lore Clark and has been added to the site with her permission. Ingre-Lore Clark understands the sites terms & conditions.
At the end of World War Two my Mother and I were living in a small town called Aue in Saxony not far from Dresden. I had just finished my Abitur (which is like an A Level) at the age of 17.
The region was under Russian occupation and I was terrified by their presence. So I decided to make my way to the Western Zone which was under British occupation. An Aunt of mine lvied in Haqqmburgand and my aim was to get there somehow, hoping that she still had her house. The chaos and confusion in Germany at the time were beyond belief.
There were refugees everywhere coming in from the East. So I told my Mother that I could not endure staying under Russian occupation anymore. I therefore just packed a few things and made my way towards the West. It was very difficult to get transport and part of the journey was either walking or sometimes a lift on a Waggon. I ended upon my first day in a field near the River Elbe with hundreds of refugees all wanting to get across to safety.
As the day drew to a close we were all settling down exposed to all weather conditions whilst waiting with anxiety for the next day. Russian Soldiers were patrolling the area and it was dangerous for a female to be left on her own. A man lying nect to me covered me with a blanket and put a small case on top thus disguising me. The following morning I set off and eventually reached the town of Magdeburg which was on the railway network, still in operation.
I bought a ticket which would only allow me to go as far as the British border. However I was going to try and escape to the West somehow. Sitting in the station waiting room I saw a goodstrain or it may have been a Troopstrain stopping at the station. A British Soldier stepped onto the platform and I grabbed the oppertunity running through the ticket barrier and asked the Solider if he could let me into his compartment.
He took me on board and I was relieved to be under cover. There were five or six more Military Personnel in the Train. In the corner was a sort of mattress and I was told to lie on there. The train then rolled along until we got to the Russian British sector. The train stopped and the Russians inspected certain compartments, but the Soliders put an Army coat over me and covered my head with a cap, so I was almost like an Army man.
As the Russians demanded for the door to be opened, the British Soldiers just pointed casually at me. My Heart was pounding at that moment and I shall never forget the experience. A few minutes later we heard some shots. How lucky I was to have been rescued by the British Soldiers and I have always been grateful to them. As the train eventually arrived in Hamburg I thanked them and then got to my Aunt who took me into her arms.
I have been living in England ever since 1947 and now live on my own. I do not know the Soldiers names unfortunately. It was a brief encounter but a dangerous experience. I shall always be grateful for the help and feel those chaps saved my life.
© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.