Soviet Advance Into Silesia

Posted: July 31, 2010 in World War 2

Fortress Breslau

On Saturday, January 20th, 1945, the authorities took hurried measures for the defense of the city. Everywhere members of the Volkssturm could be seen manning the anti-tank guns, & there were rumors that the east bank of the Oder was about to be evacuated. For days, miserable columns of refugees had been marching through the town. With cart & horse, handcarts & prams, they & their families trudged in the icy cold. Bartheln had become the new front line. We were told that Bischofswalde had to be evacuated, & that at 9:30am on Monday, all those not doing essential work would have to be at the tram depot. I decided to ignore the official order, & made up my mind to stay behind. Every night, as we went to bed, we knew that our house might collapse about us.

From the diary of Emil Heinze, January 1945


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