Hitler Youth Defending the Havel Bridges

Posted: July 30, 2010 in World War 2

“Most of us were killed…”

We asked him how it was that he was fighting when he was only 13 years old. He pointed to his comrades, many of them from Oranienburg, “The district leader, Hauptbannfuehrer Frischefsky, had all of us fetched from our homes by policemen & ordered us to report to SS barracks & on the Castle Square. Then we were divided up into separate squads & attached to various SS & Volkssturm units. We were detailed to fight north & east of the town. Most of us were killed by rifle fire, when we were ordered to attack across an open field. Later the fighting shifted to the center of the town. For two days. During these two days & nights, Oranienburg changed hands four times. Nearly all of us died. Then the Russians started to hammer us with their Stalin Organs. & when we called it a day & made for home, we were stopped & had to go along to Eden, across the canal. My Youth Group-Leader, who refused, was hanged on the nearest tree by a few SS men & one SA man. He was fifteen. Then the rest of our squad – 8 of the original 120 – decided to do as we were told. Soon afterwards, the bridge across the canal was blown up, & they left us in peace. I met a few schoolmates who told me that the Hauptbannfuehrer himself, his girlfriend & Hitler Youth Leader Schiller of the Aerotechnical School had made off to the west two days earlier on bicycles. I then walked to Velten & tried to make for Henningsdorf, where I have an aunt. But just before I got there, I was picked up. Then I had to fight in Reinickendorf, on the Spandau road. Then we pulled out. This morning we were picked up again & ordered to fight right here.”

“… Won’t you please give me a cigarette,” he begged. I pressed the box into his hand.

From H. Altner: Totentaz Berlin (Dance macabre in Berlin)

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