“Hoarding for WWIII” – What and Why?

19 Jul 1945, Berlin, Germany --- Berlin: Germany: German citizens can be seen walking over a bridge amid the ruins of buildings. Twisted metal frames are visible through the walls of bombed buildings along the streets of Berlin. A bus can also be seen crossing the bridge. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Please forgive me. I just couldn’t come up with a better title. I have been thinking about it for several days now and, you know, ‘thinking is bad for you, it bruises the brain.’ Remember, I used that title for one of my latest blogs. I must admit, all this thinking gave me quite a headache. We have lived such a peaceful life for over seventy years now, the younger generations have no idea what it is like if there are ration cards or how you sometimes have to go hungry. Yes, certain areas of the world have wars going on and it is bad. It’s very bad. Millions of people are fleeing their countries, risking their life in the process. Surrounding countries are ‘overloaded’ already, others try to take as many refugees as they can and some others say “go back where you came from”. The political threat to send people, who have lived, worked, raised families and paid taxes in other than their birth countries, back to their ancestral homelands is frightening.

No, the topic as mentioned in the heading surely wasn’t my idea. My thoughts are going back to the nineteen twenties and thirties when Hitler made his way into world politics and power. Lately, speeches with screaming and promises to clean up racial issues and make America great again reminded me of the opera “Tosca” by Puccini. In the first act, there is a lovely song: “Wie sich die Bilder gleichen“ – “How alike these pictures are…” This expression is now not used for pictures but especially for happenings of a similar nature.

Why do these kinds of thoughts trouble me? I started thinking even more about this scenario after I received an e-mail regarding predictions found in the Bible. Something is supposed to happen at the beginning of this September which, towards the end of the month, leads to WWIII. I do not know the Bible well and, despite having been told what to read or where to find these predictions I am inclined not to look for it. I just haven’t got or don’t want to spend the time. Maybe I don’t want to know. Apparently, there are also listings on Google. How could knowing about it change anything? My correspondent recommended stocking up on groceries as she has done, expecting to feed her neighbours as well. Buy shares in companies who deal in metal. Metal is needed in a war. If you can, emigrate to one of the advertised ten safest countries in the world.

I remember reading a book about Nostradamus’ predictions after 9/11. The author had tried to change the 15th-century language to a kind of picturesque ‘translation’ for the reader to understand what was meant. I skimmed over the last few hundred years to the 21st century. I must say that I was impressed because a number of things had already happened. Starting in 2012 there would be lots of unrest in the world and 2017 would see the start of a very devastating war that would turn Europe into ashes through powerful explosions. Nothing would grow for a hundred years etc. etc. It was quite unnerving. But at that time I didn’t think I would be alive in 2017. And my children and children’s children would have to deal with it like we did with the horror of WWII.

I lived through the devastation of Germany during WWII. I learned as a child what it was like to jump out of my warm bed when the air raid alarm was howling, hear the noise of the bombers, saw the ‘fire in the sky’- heard the constant rumbling of the canons, and the daily crack-crack of the shooting when the last few German soldiers were fighting the mighty Russian army in our neighbourhood. Yes, I also saw the dead and the body parts nobody was allowed to bury in the frozen earth of February 1945. Do I want to even think of all that again? I have written it all down in my memoir, “We Don’t Talk About That”. Maybe that book can become a kind of Bible on how to deal with, and survive, a war.

But, here is what I like to tell the people who are starting to hoard groceries. Did you think of how to cook when there is no electricity or gas supply? Do you plan to buy enough BBQ gas containers? If you have a wood stove, can you even get wood? Keep matches? What do you do when the supply runs out? What do you do if you have to leave your house and the enemy gets all your provisions? That happened to us. A new WW is not going to be a tame animal. Missiles reach across continents – nobody knows where they will land. What if some angry person in power presses a certain button? What if you make it to next spring but you have no food? How do you grow something? In my memoir I talk about how we found ourselves wishing for seeds to plant a garden, seed the strips of land along the road or balcony boxes or even plant in any pots. If it makes you feel better to prepare, (I am also thinking of the predicted “Big One” – an earthquake) make sure you add seeds to your supply, especially of plants that allow you to eat the tops as well as the roots. We survived on turnips and many people of my generation hate the very thought of them. Bread made out of turnips, soup made out of turnips, a stew made out of turnips. Sometimes we found tiny bones in our meals and were wondering if they were from birds or vermin. Every day we went looking for edible weeds, so learn to know what they look like and where they grow.


We also never saw any pets around and when my mother was given the great gift of a (slaughtered) rabbit I remember how she looked at it and said:

“It looks much more like a roof-rabbit to me.” Sadly, she meant a cat.


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About gmroeder

Author: - there was so much I never talked about and now, that my memoir "We Don't Talk About That" is written I can't stop talking about it. And the reviews I get are awesome; so I think this book needed to be written. Interesting that I receive many e-mails from people who read the book and now tell me their similar stories... Did I open "a can of worms?" I think there are so many people who carry a heavy memory load and they do need to "unload". But interesting enough, even more people want to know MORE of my life and therefore I am working on a sequel.

7 thoughts on ““Hoarding for WWIII” – What and Why?

  1. As a child I lived a full year in terror as I understood there would be a catastrophic event within the next year due to a prophesy at that time. At night I would lie awake with thoughts that it wasn’t fair as I hadn’t even had a life yet. When the new year passed and the end of the world had not come to pass, I was angry for having been mislead and wasting all that year living in terror. I vowed then not to ever waste a moment on prophesies ever again. Since then I have learned that there are times when we see clear signs of potential disasters such as the current political situation transpiring in our neighbour country to the South. Despite the alarming possibilities for a world disaster should the new leadership be that of those who lack reason, I choose to live with trust rather than in fear. The paralyzingly feelings of terror at what could happen, what might happen, are feelings I will not allow to take control of my life again. It’s not easy to do but I feel if I am to live my life I absolutely must push these thoughts away and out of my mind. Like you Giselle, I see only foolishness in attempting to prepare for a catastrophe as the permutations are endless. One year of my life lost to living in needless terror is enough. I will welcome every day with hope for the future rather than fear of the future. Your life experiences, as described in your book “We Don’t Talk About That” make it so much harder to push aside fearfull thinking but I know you can do it for you’ve been doing that your whole life. “It’s hard but not too hard,” which is good advise a very good friend of mine once gave to me. 🙂

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    • Claudette, very early in my life (I was about 23) I put together my own philosophy of survival, and it has worked well for me.
      1. Have a goal. When you reach that goal, have another.
      2. If you can’t change it, you can’t waste energy worrying about it.

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  2. I have not lived through what you endured, Giselle, and fear I am ill prepared to do so. I’m not sure there is any way to prepare for such a thing. It saddens me to have to think about it.

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  3. Hello Giselle. I think you know that I was among the Canadians of the RCAF in Germany about ten years after the war. My best friend, Barbara Skuhra, had lived with her mother in Baden-Baden through the war. Although the city had not been a bombing target, the people suffered the same terrible shortages. All through the war they stretched every scrap of food possible to keep their little terrier dog, Putzi. For months after the war ended Barbara told me of lining up every week when the CARE packages were distributed out of the back of military trucks. One week she and her mother were late and didn’t get their package. This one missing package was a matter of surviving or starving that week. So they traded Putzi to a neighbour for a CARE package.
    They never saw the dog again.

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  4. Thank you all for your comments. War is something not to be taken lightly. People, who have no idea, glorify it – very dangerous. Then there are some who think it’s fun “to kill ’em, kill’em.” It’s NOT a game. I’m reading “The Kaiser” (the last one of Germany) right now and am amazed how the ‘forerunners’ of WWI started already at the end of the 19th century. I didn’t know that he was the Grandson of Queen Victoria, a cousin to Tsar “Nikki” and related to most Royal Houses of Europe. Both countries dealt with problems during the years up to 1912 when a serious breach between Germany and England happened and no, that shot in Sarajevo should not have been a BIG surprise. The smoldering hate in Bosnia, Herzogewina and Serbia started about ten years earlier when Austria meddled… Claudette put a finger on a sore spot re our neighbors in the south. Can’t they THINK? One of my American friends chuckled when I asked him about the current situation and said, “He is surely entertaining…” But I am putting my head in the sand like the “ostrich” – I want to live out my life in peace. “Live with hope, not with fear.” But being interested in history I can’t help “thinking about it.”
    Poor Putzi. I know a number of those stories… Thanks for posting it, Lyn!

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    • Giselle, I used that story, disguised as a horse, in The English General, where his ex-wife found red meat for the general. I think you read that novel. 🙂

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  5. Very unsettling thoughts – and actions. Thanks Giselle, and thanks all of you who have shared. It makes my childhood of collecting silver paper and rubber tires sound so tiresome. I remember my mom lining up with coupons for stuff that was “rationed” in our area. But I don’t remember having to go hungry; just collecting spring dandelion leaves and digging for seneca root.
    I was too young for the big wars, thankfully, and too old for any future big war, or even a little one. The prospect of the big quake already has me rattled. Well, I’ve stocked up on some bottled water and have been unsuccessful in locating an earthquake kit.
    I write for peace.

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