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Berlin April 1945

by shropshirelibraries

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
shropshirelibraries
People in story: 
Sue Hill and mother
Location of story: 
Berlin
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A5760236
Contributed on: 
15 September 2005

Berlin, April 1945

Almost continuous bombing. During the day by the American airforce, during the night by the RAF and day and night by the Russian artillery. We spent most of the time in the cellar under our apartment block, which had been reinforced. There was, of course, no electricity, gas or water. We sat by candlelight and every so often, when the bombing seemed to have subsided temporarily, we quickly went out to a hydrant in a road a few minutes walk away, to fill some buckets with water. Our local baker, who still used a coalfired oven, baked some bread and gave us half a loaf per family (in my case consisting only of my mother and me). We still had a few tins of vegetables left and that was all we had to eat for about 10 days. Going out into the street we were faced with a dreadful sight. There were corpses of people, dogs, cats and even a dead horse! We became almost callous at the sight of so much devastation, but not quite. On one of our outings for water I noticed a man lying in the road, but it seemed to me that he was still breathing. We left our buckets and picked him up to take him to the nearest first-aid station, some five minutes away, which had been put up in a tent in the road.. The man was no lightweight and neither my mother nor I were very strong, but we managed to get him there. I never heard whether he survived.

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