The Coal Thief

kohlenklau.gif Copyright-Information-Reference The Coal Thief or Kohlenklau might bring back memories to some?

Its not over till its over?

The suffering of the German civilian population continued long after the signing of the unconditional surrender terms forced on Germany. Many people in the "West" are still under the impression that once the war was "officially over" everyone went back to whatever they were doing before the war with perhaps a few hardships along the lines of what, for example, the people in England were encountering i.e. rationing and "clearing up the mess". As many Germans will remember, this was certainly not the case. Dependant on where one was in Germany, e.g. rural areas as opposed to urban areas the conditions varied enormously. A summary might include:

German civilians in Germany

* There a was widespread shortage of food. There is evidence in certain of the books referred to in this website that this food shortage was a deliberate punishment inflicted on the civilian population.
* Rape of women (and children) was commonplace.

"Russian troops entered Jüterbog in April 1945. They were hardened combat troops. We Germans have a name for such men: Frontschweine, combat pigs. We barricaded our doors, but they easily broke them down with the butts of their rifles and submachine guns. The only words they seemed to know in German were "Frau, komm. Fünf minuten." In the presence of my sister and me - we were very afraid, cowering in the large matrimonial bed in the main bedroom - my mother and grandmother were raped repeatedly. The soldiers entered the room, their genitals exposed, put down their submachine guns, and one relieved another who had just finished raping my mother or grandmother. I never forget the scene. I was terribly afraid, as was my sister. They often aimed their guns at us as if they were going to shoot us, saying, "Ratatatat, ratatatat." This horror went on for several nights."[1]

Berlin Before and After

Massacre at Treuenbrietzen

This refers to the massacre in the east German town of Treuenbrietzen where approximately one thousand German civilians were killed.
Further information can be found here: wikidot NB: Opens in a new window

Ethnic German Expellees in Germany

* Having survived harrowing journeys to reach Germany, they were then "at the bottom of the social pecking order" in terms of obtaining food, a place to live and work.

(NB: Any Web Sites referenced below open in a new window)
1. Samuel, Wolfgang W. E. 2002. The War of Our Childhood. University Press of Mississippi. Page 168.
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