MRS. OTTO ENKE [?] 1945 - 1946 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARY HANDWRITTEN BY A BERLIN POLICEMAN'S WIFE DETAILING DAY TO DAY THE FINAL MONTHS AND IMMEDIATE AFTERMATH OF THE BATTLE FOR BERLIN AND THE RUSSIAN ONSLAUGHT
BERLIN GERMANY 1945 Very Good
On offer is the stunning, original manuscript relic of Berlin's remaining months in Nazi hands, the eventual conquest and the following months in the German capital from the rare perspective of a German policeman's wife. The woman, Mrs. Otto Enke we believe, wrote her intimate and private thoughts of the very last days of Hitler's Germany and the entire year of 1945 and into 1946. Stranded by her husband and son, left alone under the nightly bombing raids of the last months of 1945 she details the horrors, deprivations and oncoming onslaught of the Russian army whose path she is directly in front of. She writes of the rape of her neighbours by Russian soldiers; the death of her son on the eastern side of Berlin, she writes on every page, the true and horrific life she endures as the wife of a policeman in Berlin. Here are snippets: 13.2.1945 (The day the fire-bombing of Dresden commenced) Went to the publishing house to pick up my pay. Spoke with Tiburtgius [sic], Krocher, Cashier and ladies. There are 18 dead and wounded there. Caskets were still being carried out. Went to the hairdresser in the afternoon. Gerhard and his girlfriend came, and Gunter and Erika. 14. 2. Wednesday - Alarms the whole morning. Went with Mrs. Weber to the basement. Another attack in the evening, now it's 11 pm and I'm going to sleep. As of today the Berlin Volkssturm troups are to return. The Battalion leader told me this personally. Mr. Hagemann got his return booked - he was just there. 15. 2. Thursday Went to the Market. The alarm sounded, so I went into the air raid shelter with Mrs. Linke. In the evening I went to Weltersdorf. I initiated several conversations, hoping to get news of Otto, unfortunately nothing yet. Thursday - 8.3.45 Telephoned Miss Freitag, sister of Sargent Gisiecke. In the morning I went to the market, in the afternoon I went to the ? agency, to look for information about Papa. The Hambuger also already returned, on 3. Feb . 45. I am going again next week, to speak with him personally. Miss Erika was here, and this evening there was an alarm. Went to bed at 10. Friday 7.3.45 Went to the cinema with Gunter in the morning, saw "Blue Fox". In the afternoon Mr. Kuhn repaired my (?) In the evening there was an alarm, It boomed quite impressively, I was quite afraid. Gunter came over in the cellar. Thank God! Air mines (as opposed to land mines?) came down. Our apartment looked crazy. We started clean-up work right away. The apartment was without glass panes. Went to bed at 10. Wednesday, 4.4. 45 In the morning, alarm. I slept until 9 am, and then the alarm already sounded. After the alarm, close to noon, I ent to Karlshorst. In the afternoon, rather, evening at 6 pm the sister-in-law of Sargent Giericke came. We set up a petition, and now I am gathering signatures. Where are our men? Alarms in the evening and during the night. 22.4.Sunday - in the afternoon at 4, Gunter left to go to Beelsburg. Will he come home again? We, Erika and I brought him to the Stezl (?) train station. So, now I am alone. I sit here in great danger, the enemy is firing at Berlin, the tears are rolling down my cheeks, and there is an awful racket. Miss Erika came again in the evening, and wanted to get me so I wouldn't be alone. She brought me coffee beans. Really kind. Until 8 pm I stayed in our apartment, then I went to the Hagemann's. Mr Hagemann was afterall my Otto's Volkssturm comrade. I had intended to spend the night in our air raid shelter, because Gunter had suggested it. The Hagemanns let me sleep in their apartment, it was in any case the best I could do. Mrs. Hagemann even brought coffee for her daughter and for me to our bedside. I slept until about 8, but burdened with many things. What will the new day bring? Monday, 23. 4. I got up at 8 am. There was shooting the whole day. I tried to shop for some groceries, but I wasn't successful. Everywhere there were long line-ups of people., most didn't get anything. I did get a [package?] of cigarettes. Mr. Hagermann brought some good news: the Americans and English are to declare a cease-fire. Went to bed at midnight. Tuesday, 24. 4. Slept again at Hagermanns, until 8 am. Despite the unbelievable amount of shooting, I did sleep. Today it's almost impossible to leave the house. Now and again I go to my apartment to get or do something. Around 5:30 pm there was an awful crash. Mrs. Hagermann and I were sitting doing some darning. Our building was hit. Everyone was shouting "fire", and I lost my nerves(?) Many air raid shelter helpers came, everything was checked out, and it turns out that only the roof had been blown off. There ws lots of dirt, shards and dust. Wednesday 25.4. In the morning I tried to shop for my groceries, there were even free wares at the freight train station. But there were constantly lowflying bombers, and there were many casualties and wounded. I was glad I hadn't gone. I went as far as city hall, and on the way home I took shelter in several cellars. Bombs rained down, every half hour. Across the way the house collapsed. So we spent the entire day in the cellar. In the evening there was more shooting. It was a terrible night. From 11:30 pm until 5 am, we were in the cellar. Thursday, 26.4. Now I am waking up. It's said that in the Bahnstrasse the apartments are being vacated (evacuated?). I've had enough. I got up immediately, freshened up, and went to Hagermann's where we had coffee. Another big attack. I fled to the air raid shelter…. I felt as if I was witnessing the end of the world. Mr. Koch and his daughter were wounded by shattered glass. We were first at the Hagemanns. In the Holscheimische Street, the Liefke's apartment was hit by artillery fire. In general everything was being hit. My apartment is surely full of shattered glass. And everything is being demolished. Just now I swept up in the living room. I wanted to spend the night in the apartment, but unfortunately the shooting was so heavy that I went over to my air raid shelter again. And that was another horrible night! Friday, 27.4 And one is alive! The only thing: at 5:30 in the morning there was an indescribabledetonation. I wanted to go over [to my apartment] quickly to get myself some coffee. Mr. Beckmann thought that I shouldn't go up because ? was announced through a Volkssturm soldier that a firebombing was coming, everyone should be in shelters. And so it began. One can't even grasp a clear thought. (It continues on for several pages, but the pencil is smudged and the writing is unclear, likely due to stress…) Monday 30.4. (the day Hitler committed suicide.) Drank coffee at the Hagemann's in the morning. Now it's starting again, what should one do first? Honeypots are ripped out of peoples hands. The people are beating each other up, and I didn't get anything. Mrs. Kuhn gave me a glass full of [?] I didn't even get bread, because [? ] were standing there. I went to [Scharzatt?] because I felt restless. Miss Erika stood there crying, the day before yesterday she was raped by three Russians. Just now there was a terrible bombing - I had to take shelter. I slept at Hagemanns againg because there was artillery fire again.Tuesday, 1.5. I got up at 8 am. Drank coffee. Stood on line to get bred until 4:30 - in the meantime had lunch. I got a voucher for bread for the day after tomorrow! In the line with Kuhn, Hagemann, Miss Kviea to the freight train station, got potatoes. One can only wiggle one's ears (shake one's head). The situation is indescribable. Wednesday 2.5. Stood on line 2 hours to get water in Pezau. Looked for Miss Erika, brought her 1 bag potato flakes. Mr. Hagermann nailed all the windows. The whole morning and afternoon there were no shots! Could it be cease-fire? There is a considerable amount of [looting?] 3 patrols visited our house (building) up to the 1st (North American 2nd) Floor. Mrs. Beckmann spoke with them. Slept in the living room, slept wonderfully until 8 am. (At Durrbach two men got on[?] Stood on the balcony at Stutzners until 10:15 pm. Thursday 3.5. Picked up bread, it took two hours, I had a voucher. "Edict" posted and being "read aloud". But I wanted to read it myself. Red the City Hall edict. Handel Square is under protection. First we go together to Belliz. Looked for Nunzilo. Went to the cemetery, saw at Father Wuttig's that the house had burned out. I am shocked! AT the cemetery the corpses were lying with bloody cloths. At the corner of Berg Street and Bismark Street there were two Volkssturm men lying ded. A bouquet of lilacs was on top. I wept bitterly. How may it be with my Otto? He who didn't want to become a Volkssturm-soldier was hanged. So it was required! The Fuhrer has all the people on his conscience. Since yesterday I have hiccups, I assme my son Gunter is thinking about me intensely. I hope he iswell, my feeling tells me that he lives. I will soon try to go to him, I already was at the city hall. For now it's not possible yet. I am afraid my bicycle will be taken from me. Mrs. Scharrgott visited, she gave me two stems of lilacs. When I came back in the evening, Mrs. Beckmann brought me carrots, potatoes and dried potatoes. Went to bed at 22:00, I slept restlessly, one heard from a distance artillery. I think Potsdamm is being shot at. On 22.1.45 my husband (my man) became Volkssturmmann! (a paramilitary rank in the militia formed toward the end of WWII to defend the German Homeland) At 2:30 pm in the Flarastreet. In the evening I/we took the train from Feuerbach street station to Friedrich street station, and walked to Faegerstreet 32. On 23.1.45 I was with him in the morning. At his request I went to the bookstore (?) to get a z-card. Unfortunately all the z-cards that had been delivered had been given out. Otto was outfitted, he even looked very good. At 5:40 pm I travelled to…. 2. 45. Thursday Sister Gertrud was here…was good…. Acceptance/reception. In the evening I was at Paul Flemmings….. Again alarm. I was at…Hartzelstr…. Inquiry about… went to bed early. 9.2. Friday midday. Alarm…. Weber came to me, also on… together we went to the local office. We spoke with a returned Volkssturmmann, who sam 20 meters through the Oder (river)….said only how through a… he escaped death…. Fritz Schaale was hit…. Made me hopeful… dad was devastated about Otto's fate… then with… spoke… Saturday. Guenter went… to the movies, in the evening a pleasant visit Miss Krause. Slept well in the night. Sunday, 1.9.46 This night I was constantly awake (waking up), I had terrible "beating of the heart" (anxiety). At 6 am I already started to sew, in bed. 12 noon, Guenter wanted to leave the house very early. I went at 2 pm, and to Blanckenfeld to Mr. Fischer, unfortunately he'd moved. In the evening I drank a strong beer (stout?), spoke with Luehrs. 11pm Monday, 2. 9.46 Slept well this night, until 8:45 am. IN the morning I went to the coal place, but it was in vain. Then I visited customers. When I returned there was a telegram from brother Karl there, from Belzig, from the camp! I went immediately to Knorr and obtained a certificate that he will be employed again. Mia was also already here, they had already received the telegram yesterday. Tomorrow I will make further inquiries. But I am glad that the family is in Germany. Good Night! In the evening Miss Tutti came and darned. Tuesday, 3.9. This morning and afternoon I visited customers, and even got two assignments. Also, I hurried and made inquiries with regard to [repatriation?] home for my brother and family. I spent 3 hours at city hall on Geraminstreet. Only prisoners of war can get bookings for the next day…since I want to go to Belzig. Now it's 11pm. Exhausted I fall into my bed. Wednesday, 4. 9. So, in the morning at 6:30 we set out, unfortunately we (Mia and I) only got on the 10:20 train. Around 1pm we arrived (in Belzig). Gretel and Juergen were in the camp, Karl had travelled to Berlin in the morning. When I arrived home at 10 in the evening, Karl was there. We talked until midnight (in Bed?). One has do much to relate. Miss Tutti had in the evening cooked a Tomato soup, it was very good. She brought fruit, etc. Thursday 5.9. We slept until 7:30, then I drove with Karl to Fauke's. Karl went from the Nalindorfplatz, and I went to Fehlar v. Eraazt and (?) with Mr. Gold and Mr. Prinz. On Monday I will go again and get an answer. In the evening I went to the Lehar hour. Gunter and Miss Tutti picked me up. I am exhausted. Overall VG.