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Bea Schmitt

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War Stories- 1939-1945, Memories of those who cried
by Bea Schmitt  Dennis R. Moore 

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Publisher:  Rose International Publishing House ISBN-10:  1930574029 Type: 


Copyright:  Dec 1 2000

Recollections of World War II veterans and civilians .

Barnes &
Bookstore On Perron

Features the personal accounts and recollections of they who witnessed the horrors of
World War II. Included are chronological accounts of war events corresponding with
people's memories of their experiences, as well as rare photographs.
The stories tell the diversities between the nationalities on the European continent.


Hildegard Elisabeth Emmerich ( *1925), remembers the night of the most devastating bombing of Hanau, Hessia, in the early morning hours of March 19, 1945. Her hometown, a bustling city which was founded in 1303, would never be the same. The ferocious bombing destroyed 90% of this beautiful city.. "I remember coming home late from a get-together at the home for children where I was working at the time. I was very tired and fell asleep instantly. All of a sudden, I recall my mom trying to wake me up. She said she felt something was going on, but tired as I was I remember brushing her off by saying, 'Ah, you’re just imagining things!!!' My mom, however , didn’t relent. She grabbed me and told me to go down to the basement. By this time even I was able to hear the purring engines of the planes and in no time little flares were falling from the sky illuminating the dark night. Mom and I, with one suitcase, rushed to the basement to seek shelter. With our neighbours, we huddled together while we could hear the deafening noise of the falling bombs... A minute seemed an hour long and I can’t quite remember how long we actually stayed down there... I do, however, recall my brother ( who at this time was working in an ammunition factory in Kassel) saying to us that we should get out to an open space as soon as the rubble comes down… He had also warned us not to go to the air raid shelter of the Goldschmiedehaus, as he feared we could suffocate there... Well, we followed his advice as soon as the rubble fell. Mom and I ran out and the picture that presented itself to us was one of the most horrible things I have ever seen: Everything was in flames, some of our neighbours bodies were strewn around. Due to the phosphor bombs they looked like burned tree stumps, very small. My mom , who was only wearing her housecoat was so shocked that she didn’t move. Although our house was already engulfed in flames, I ran up to get another suitcase... I then told Mama to get to an open space. Mama, though, was still sitting down and staring aimlessly at our burning town. She was in shock. In order to get her into safety I had to slap her twice to get her moving.We both rushed to an open space where more people had gathered... Most of them had lost their homes like we did…. But- we were alive. When most of the flames were extinguished, I went back to the remains of the house I was born in and posted a note for my brother as to where he could find us. While posting the note to my brother, Hans, I also found out that the people who had taken shelter in the air raid bunker had suffocated as well as the people who had stayed behind in our basement… Yes, Hans saved out lives although he wasn’t with us… After posting the note, Mama and I left for a little town a few kilometers away where my Tante ( Auntie) Gretchen was nice enough to take us in. After all, we had nothing but two suitcases left... Two days later though, we had the most wonderful reunion possible: My brother Hans of course had heard about the destruction of Hanau and had hurried back as fast as he could, worried to death about Mama and I. Hans read my note and I still remember when the door opened at Tante Gretchen’s. We all fell into each other’s arms and cried. We still had each other…"

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Reader Reviews for "War Stories- 1939-1945, Memories of those who cried"

Reviewed by Beatrix 10/26/2002
Reviewed by Bea Schmitt 6/13/2001
I wish your book every success and
am honored to have my name mentioned in the credits. Having read
the book, I highly recommend it to all who haven't! It is a
keepsake....lest we forget.
Reviewed by Bea Schmitt 6/8/2001
Reviewed by Bea Schmitt 5/20/2001
Reviewed by Kristina O'Donnelly 5/20/2001

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