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Irmgard's Lebenslauf


     Postscript - Christmas 1945

Christmas 1945 - Who Remembers?

Set out below is a true story which my brother-in-law (Inge's husband) wrote in response to a German local Newspaper on 13 December 1995.

As a young family when our son Jochen had just become 2 years old, we had to leave our hometown Oberglogau. This was in February 1945, the last month of the war, and we became poor overnight. After many journeys and searchings we finished up in emergency accommodation, a sports hall in a small town not far from Fulda. It was not until November 1945 that we found shelter with a retired couple in a small village in that area. Christmas was not far off. In a nearby forest a small Christmas tree was obtained and decorated with tin foil strips in place of normal decorations. 

In our room the emptiness was yawning and the Christmas tree stood all alone and lost. Darkness set in. There was a knock at our door and in the frame stood a 7 year-old boy with a large loaf of bread in his hand. He wished us a peaceful Christmas, gave the bread to my wife and said, "So that Jochen will not go hungry at Christmas"

Our room, dimly lit by a 25-watt bulb, suddenly became bright. This was the poorest but also the loveliest Christmas. In hindsight it also became the saddest of all because a few days later, this boy was caught stealing bread. According to his mother, "The boy came from the poorest family of the village". He could not bear the shame of having been caught and hanged himself in his mother's house.

So our thoughts at Christmas every year go to that small village, and to the boy who made our Christmas so lovely when our need was at its greatest. Every year we hear his words,  "So that Jochen will not go hungry at Christmas".

This is our lasting memory of Christmas 1945.

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