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In may 1945 he destroyed his Flak in Brüx with a hand grenade. His unit tried to flee from the Red Army, first together, then seperately. He stole a tractor, driving it until it ran out of gas, and a bicycle in a monastery.

In Karlsbad (today Karlovy) he was captured by the americans. Two weeks he stayed in a prisoner of war camp in Eger (today Cheb), where he had to work on clearing the roads. Rations consisted of half a slice of bread per day. Finally there was an appeal: "Who wants to go to west germany?"

In a wagon he went to Bonn. On the freight station in Bonn there were no guards, and he fled. He went to Cologne, where he crossed the river Rhine on a pontoon bridge. The house in Cologne-Mülheim was empty and partially destroyed. My grandmother and my father had fled to the countryside to Hoffnungstal (in the "Bergisches Land" near Cologne). From a friend he got some plain clothes, because he didn't have discharge papers. Behind the house he found an intact children's bicycle, which he used to go through the Königsforst (a forest near Cologne) to Hoffnungstal too.

Homepage(2)     World war essay(index) by Michael Becker, 1/2002. Last modification: 12/2002.