Family reunion with a kombi

25 10 2015

Family meeting mid-August 2015 in Ottenhausen in Thuringia (German: Thüringen), one of the Eastern German states. The grandchildren and great-grandchildren visit the village and house where our grandmother had arrived with her five children in 1945, as refugees from East Prussia. Good to be reminded of this family history today when another generation of refugees arrives in Germany, this time from Syria and other war zones of today’s world. At the time, my grandmother arrived as a single mum with five children between five and fifteen. My grandfather was killed in action in 1941. Ottenhausen was the end of a flight which had started at the end of January 1945 in their hometown of Rastenburg in the former East Prussia (today called Ketrzyn and located in northeastern Poland). They escaped from the Red Army which fought their way into Germany from the east, in the last months of WWII. At the time, Ottenhausen was occupied by the American Army. It turned out my grandmother had stopped a few kilometers too early, as in July 1945 this part of Thuringia was traded by the Americans to the Russians for a share of Berlin, so became part of East Germany for the next 45 years. Which meant another flight, in 1962, from East Germany to West Germany, again leaving everything behind. My grandmother managed the new start in 1945 because of the help and support from their new neighbors. Important to keep this family history in mind.




2 responses

25 10 2015

Very interesting family history. Your grandmother sounds like a strong woman during those tough times. Thanks for posting.

26 10 2015

She was. Hard life in difficult times. Thanks for coming by!

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