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Utworzono: 06 czerwiec 2013 Siegfried Wein
Czerna» Kategoria: Wspomnienia mieszkańców Czernej
Odsłony: 4384

Siegfried Wein was born and lived in Czernej (Alt Eichen) in 1936-1945. This is his story.

 

My parents, Margaret and Erich Wein bought the house shortly before my birth. At that time the village was still called Klein-Tschirne. The Nazis renamed the village shortly
before I was born in Alt Eichen. Klein-Tschirne sounded too Slavic, they wanted a German-sounding name.
The house was just a normal farmhouse, the former owners were farmers. In the back of the house, the barns and stables were much small livestock such as goats, ducks,
rabbits. To the property belonged a small strip of land, which my parents leased out to the neighbors, to the
farmers Laube.
And second year a piece land which was on the other side of the Oder, was used to make hay.
My parents had later also goats, occasionally ducks and at one point a sheep. From the goat's milk
my mother prepared daily butter.
The land behind the stables was a vegetable garden, which was followed by an enclosed meadow.
Which was mainly used as pasture for the goats. My parents have otherwise not good farmland.
My mother helped in the summer months other farmers in the harvest season for grain or asperagus.
My father was a mechanic and therefore as soldier in the army he was a sergant of arms.
He was soon discharged from the army due to his illness and worked as a quartermaster in Glogau,
a service that probably belonged to the Wehrmacht.
My parents were no members of the Nazi party, my father was an avowed opponent of Hitler. His
father, an engineer in Glogau was an active member of the SDP.
My sister attended a school in Glogau, a so callled “Handelsschule”, which beside the usual
education. provided training for girls in accounting at such like.
My parents were long time friends with the village schoolteacher Bluemel. The teacher's family but
was soon moved to a different location
When buying the house, my parents were financially supported by the parents of my mother. These
lived in Glogau. My grandfather was a railroad engine-driver, like father of my father. But he fell ill
and could no longer do this work. In Glogau grandparents lived in the Rüster Strasse. This street no
longer exists, it was destroyed in the war.
My grandparents were often, especially in the summer months, in Alt-Eichen
I remember always that many visitors were staying with us. There were relatives who lived in
Cologne, but because of the bombing raid back in western germany,were fond of Alt-Eichen, as
well as my uncle's family, a brother of my mother. But there were also others, who were invited
from my grandparents not always to the delight of my parents.I ,in spite of the war, had a pretty happy childhood. In the winter I went with the other village
children skating on the old Oder. We drove with sleights on the small hill at the end of the village
street or waited at the village road for a horse-sleigh, to which we attached our sleigths to the slide
“horse-powered” down the road.
In the last years of the war our house was also accommodation for the so-called “Fremdarbeiter”
(forced laborers). For these workers were the stables rebuilt by the Nazis, specifically by the
company Todt, much to the chagrin of my father.
At times up to 30 Italians and French stayed there . They probably had to work in the fields of
farmers. They went comparatively well,  in contrast to the Russian prisoners of war and Polish
workers.
The russian War prisoners were housed in the grounds of the castle in the old stables. I remember
that a Russian prisoner of war during the digging of trenches, which were intended to defend the
village, was beaten to death near the war memorial for the first world war, which no longer exists,
for covering himself against the cold.
The Polish workers were housed with their families in the so called “Schnitterkasernen”on the
outskirts near the entrance to the manor. These Houses are still in existence. I remember well my
fathers outrage when these houses were used by the local fire department as a training objects and
the already meager homes of Polish families were flooded. Although there was only a Nazi in the
village, you felt as a German but probably very superior.
In the last days of the war many peasant families were given a foreign worker as an auxiliary force.
In neighboring family Laube was a Frenchman, Victor. We kept friendly relations with him,
although it was actually banned. These workers were not allowed to eat with the farmer's family
officially and had to return to a their camp in the evening.
In the village blacksmith, a Polish worker was employed. He also was treated with respect. In the
later history of the village, he played an important role. At the end of the war he became something
of an organiser of the village, encouraging the returning peasants to work and protecting the village
from Plunderers.
In the years 1943 - 1944  a “bombed-out”, i.e. they lost their home during the wartime bombing
raids,  Rhineland family of a woman with her daughter was brought to us. They came from Dueren
and were also called Dueren. The daughter, about the same age as me, was my playmate at this
time. As a result of bombing, she was probably mentally traumatized, but that did not matter to me.
Probably she and her mother both perished on the “Flucht” , the escape, in winter 1945. We
searched unsuccessfully after the war for them.
End of January 1945, we were evacuated by the german authoritys to leave the village. With my sister and an aunt who had come with her two daughters from Königsberg to us, left  with others on
foot  Alt-Eichen and went to Finsterwalde, because we had  relatives there. My parents were to able
to arrange to stay in the house. But they later came to Finsterwalde, actually to bring some things to
us. They had to stay there too because the trip back was no longer possible, the Red Army was
faster than then thougth in their advance toward Berlin. So we witnessed the end of the war in
Massen / Finsterwalde. There my father was drafted into the Volkssturm called up in the last days of
the war. We have since then never heard from him. In the end of April / beginning of May
encouraged by the local Russian commander of Finsterwalde, we , my mother, my sister, my aunt,
and we three children, went back to Alt-Eichen. Again on foot. In mid-May, we are probably arrived
back in Alt-Eichen. The village was, as the result of the energy of the Polish commander, cleared of
war damage and made a peaceful impression. Together, the fields were worked. The few children
received education. This took place in the house. An old, pensioned teacher from Glogau, Mr.
Drechsel, taught us. This too was an initiative of the Polish commander.
In July, we received by the russians the surprising command to leave the village. We were given 10
minutes to pack. That was on a Monday morning, on Sunday had, because the church was still in
exsistence, the first church service taken place. It was a long way. Walking with a trolley with our
few belongings, our aim was Cottbus. In Forst / Neisse we crossed the border, which we did not yet
know that there wouldt be a border. Finally we reached Fürstenwalde / Spree, in a small town also
destroyed in the war , in the vicinity of Berlin. Long we longed for the old country.

My mother and my sister have died years ago. I as well as my adult children Robert and Ada, living in Berlin and I am retired. My mother always encouraged us to be friends with those who now live in Cerna and Cerna is now
home to.

 

This was a story of Siegfried Wein
(wrote in 2013, translated to English from Deutsch by Robert Wein)


Postcards:

pocztowka alteichen wein 01 pocztowka alteichen wein 02

Poprawiono: czwartek, 06, czerwiec 2013 21:45

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