Memories of little Gila, a brief history lesson: 


The first of the “Nine Lives of Gila” – see “We Don’t Talk About That”:

Gila lived her first 30 years in three Germanys. She can’t remember her first 3 or 4 years, but she knows what happened. Hitler took over in 1933 because he promised work and bread for the starving population. Criminals caused brawls and a lot of unrest in the big cities. Hitler told his friend Roehm to establish a new kind of army; therefore, in 1934, he created the SA, also known as the Brownshirts or Stormtroopers, to get the ‘Riff-Ruff’ off the streets. The SA developed into a new army over time. Hitler had his friend Roehm killed because he became too strong.  An old general, who fought in WWI explained: “Peace? Peace is just an interlude between wars.” Hitler applied to have the Olympics in 1936 in Germany and, in his usual style, screamed: “We will show the world a recovered Germany!”

To instill pride in their history and their country again,  the ‘Hitler Youth’ came into being. Hitler commanded: “I want our young people as swift as Greyhounds, tough as leather, and hard as Krupp steel.”

To entice the Germans to have more children, a “Mother’s Cross” was awarded for mothers of many children. After the fifth child, Adolf Hitler was their Godfather.

Little Gila learnt early on in her life, “not to talk about anything said at home.” Her father allowed her to listen with him to Churchill’s speeches every night on the UK radio.

The ‘Brownshirts’ had been mostly bad boys, and they had no problem killing people. Everybody was scared of them. Rowdy groups in big cities started defacing and smashing shop windows of Jewish owners. Jews disappeared; they were either captured or took a chance to flee. The infamous ‘Crystal Night’ in Berlin was the height of the criminal acts, and the police lost power. Anybody speaking out against it, hiding or helping Jewish friends or had communistic ideas went to the new ‘Concentration Camps.’ These were not only populated by Jews, as is a common belief.

Mentally or physically disabled people were picked up and brought to special sanatoria. Relatives were told they would be looked after – but they were put to sleep.

A hardly known fact: Unwed pregnant girls, shunned by their families, could apply to be taken into ‘special’ homes. Their babies were placed with Nazi couples right after birth. The mothers had no say in it, even if they expressed their desire to keep their child. Or they would be told the baby died during birth.

Hitler wanted to breed an “Aryan race” – tall, blond-blue-eyed people. Goodlooking blond and blue-eyed girls were enticed or ordered to go to exclusive homes, and tall, blond and blue-eyed Nazi officers would ‘father’ their babies.

Such was the background created by the Fuehrer to ‘clean up’ devastated Germany and build a 1000-year Reich.

Then there were whispers of war. The invasion of Poland in September 1939 was the beginning of a horrible war. The Brownshirts came and confiscated Gila’s horse, Lotti. When she was told ‘the Fuehrer needs it,’ she asked the officer: “Can’t he take another horse?”

My first day at school

Gila started school right after Easter 1940. As was a German tradition, she looked forward to receiving the  “Schultuete”, – the ‘Horn of Plenty.’ Sadly, there wasn’t much in it. No chocolate, just some apples from last fall and a package of candies.

Gila’s first train ride was a trip to Stettin in 1941 to visit her Grandmother’s brother and his wife. They visited the harbour, and many ships were waiting to leave. Gila’s uncle had Jewish friends, and they were able to get on the last ship sailing to America, but no children were allowed. Their son Gerhard stayed with Gila’s aunt and uncle. Sadly, that ship was torpedoed and sank. Gerhard grew up with them and was later declared their son after the war. No problem, all papers were lost due to the eviction in 1945 by the Polish army.

From her home, Gila could always hear the bombers flying to Berlin. She and her family would hide in the ditch of a field and watch the fire in the sky after dropping their deadly cargo over Berlin. Black-out curtains had to be in place. Older men unfit for war became the “Homefront” to keep an eye on everybody. The Hitler Youth kept an eye on the old guys. Nobody knew who an informer was.

1943 – Gila’s father was conscripted into the army. Ration cards limited food supplies, causing a black market. Aunt Anna came from Berlin asking for ‘cow shit” to grow tomatoes on her balcony.

July 20, 1944 – there was another attack on Hitler. Again, like many times before, he was not killed. Seven thousand people, Hitler called them conspirators, were shot; women, children, relatives, whole families were wiped out.

At the end of January 1945, Gila’s teacher told the children the school was to be closed to become a field hospital as many wounded expected. Only 5 kilometres away, the mighty Russians were fighting the last of the German army. When the Russians invaded Gila’s village on February 4th, 1945, she watched but lived through their atrocities, rape and murder. Gila’s childhood was over when she was only eleven years old.

It was the end of Adolf Hitler’s 1000 year Reich.

 

 

 

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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.

5 thoughts on “Memories of little Gila, a brief history lesson: 

  1. a reminder to all of us, the WORLD’s PEOPLE who dream the old dream of a life worth living on our beautiful earth, with give and take and respect for others, human or non-human, that:
    whenever somebody climbs to power and shouts from the rooftops that he (nine chances out of ten, that somebody WILL be of the male persuasion…) will make nation X ‘GREAT AGAIN’…it is time to oppose the creep RIGHT AWAY with ALL that we’ve got!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It probably came ‘automatically’ because you are on the list. Delete it if you don’t want it.

    Like

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