Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The next twenty years - 10 to 30

Stations straat Heerlen/South Limburg/Netherlands

. After the war, from 1945

There was a terrible time in Europe, whole villages were destroyed, no food, no real law, awful peoples justice and revenge, collaborators had their head shaved or were tarred and feathered, others had fingers or a hand cut of. Traitors had an ear cut off. Some had their tongue removed or were just beaten to death.
They were collaborators who had sympathised with the Germans during the war and some of them had also been members of the so named NSDAP in Netherlands and Belgium and often even more brutal than the Germans themselves.Children, among them myself, robbed transport trains who carried any kind of food or even coal.Whole gangs of 200 to 700 children, protected by grown ups, jumped, at special places where the trains moved very slowly, up onto the train and pulled the goods off the train to the ground were others gathered them and carried them away.These groups had names like the

“Stolberg Bande“,
“Rabat Colonna“ and the
“Jugend Bande“

Part of the goods were shared between us, part was sold on the black market to buy tobacco, cigarettes, coffee, tea, etc from the Belgian and .American soldiers, as well as butter, meat cheese, chicken and other stuff in the shops or from the farms in Belgium and the Netherlands.
Some of this was taken to share between all of us and a part was taken to the black market in Germany to sell to a high price then there was nothing at all during the first three years after the war, until end of 1948.There was a great shortage of all kinds of food, especially butter, milk (milk- and egg powder) meat, cheese, oil, coffee, tea, cocoa, cigarettes, cigars, tobacco and lots of other stuff.We sold every day goods on the black market at a place called „Kaiserplatz“ in Aachen.

Often there were fights between the “gangs“ and the police, and also against grown up gangsters and former “Hitlerjugend“ groups.These fights took place in broad daylight and were very bloody, often with heavy casualties or even deaths.We fought with heavy wooden sticks, knives, axes and any kind of weapon we could get hold of.I was often wounded and have today more as 30 scares out of that time.Twice I nearly died but I am still alive.
I was one of the main scouts for smuggling goods between countries, as I knew all the secret and safe ways thorough the Belgian, Dutch and German borders.

I had used these routes during the Second World War when I helped smuggle refugees from Germany to Netherlands and from there to Roermond, to the North Coast to be sent by boat to England or to Belgium, (Liege (Luik) or Namur), or taken to Switzerland or Spain, were they were handed over to the next resistant group
So I knew all the secret hideouts and ways to trick the customs and the border guards and I knew all the hiding places were we had stored all kind of weapons and other stuff.
During the war I learned how to make bombs and napalm cocktails; and how to blow up a car only with 3 litres of diesel or gasoline and a hand full of Silver nitrate, but I was also trained in combat fighting. I learned that also a small child can kill a man with bare hands, my teachers were

Mr. Theis Spronk, as well as
Hubert Samson
Jack Smeets and
Mr. Schuurmans

This time of Wild West style, lasted until 1952, when order was slightly restored and life started to be normal again.The shops were full of food, jobs were available and the Government offered good accommodations.
From 1948 the schools started running again and the farmers needed farmhands, houses were build, roads repaired etc. etc.

At the end of the war, 1945, at the age of 9 I had never been to school as there had been no school all those war years.
I had been taught by a teacher who was also in the resistance (Meester Heenen), and the Major of our town, (Meneer Silvertand).
When I went to school for the first time in 1946, I started in the third class. I already spoke four languages and could read and write these perfectly.After school we went to our group leaders and started to gather food and goods our families needed, we were smugglers but also warriors and not willing to go hungry again and protected our rights for a human living.
The resistance was still in action but this time not to fight against the Government or the army, no, we hunted former members of the German Nationalist Party (the Nazis), Prosecutors, Judges, Member of the Gestapo and Deaths Head SS. We found many of them and dealt with them.
Other groups did the same, from Arnhem in Netherlands to Namur, Malmendier, Luik and Oostende in Belgium. This continued until 1960.I went to school until 1950, when I reached High School, but on the 3rd of August 1952 I was deported back to Germany.
I was no angel, I was a resistance fighter and later a hunter and took some matters in my own hands. I was a German citizen and all German had to leave.No, I was not a very pleasant youth, always and any time ready to fight for my rights, my food, my family and friends, and I can tell you, it was a very wild and hard time.
Yes, I was a warrior and I am proud of that.
I had to deal with those who raped me and later with those who murdered my mother and sent my father to a concentration camp,but, that is another story.When I was deported back to Germany in 1952.
I was 16, and met for the first time in my life the parents of my mother, my grandparents, who told me the truth about how,
And why my mother died.

They told me that the Gestapo had murdered her, who was responsible for her dead and who carried out the murder. They had all facts and names, which they gave to me.From that day a new chapter in my life began, I started my search to hunt down the four who had murderer my mother.
First I lived with my dad who had survived and was married again and had a son, my Stepbrother Werner, born December 1946.
My father had the martyr of the KZ survived and they had transferred him to a special camp were there doctors made experiments with humans, he needed drugs to survive.After some weeks the German Child Care Services appeared and put me in a Boarding School run by Franciscan Monks, but I was unable to fit in with all those fine well-mannered boys from wealthy families so
The Social Care Department took me to a farmer,
Bauer Hermann’s in Schleiden be Heinsberg.
I was raised in a small farmers town in the Netherlands. I enjoyed the life there and, I know farmers life very well.
The farmer treated me very well and the work was familiar to me. Every Sunday I received pocket money of two Deutschmarks. At that time the same as £20 today.
After five weeks I asked for my monthly payment, 45 DM, today ca. £450, but he refused and told me that he had to give my earnings to the Social Department.I was not happy with that and waited until the next Sunday.
When everybody was at church I took DM 35 from the sugar pot, were the farmers wife hid their money, my rightful earnings and left for the Netherlands, the only place were I could go and felt home.I lived in the woods. It was very cold in November 1953 but I was hardened during the war and the years afterwards. I found a place to rent and a job in a rubber factory.That went on until March 1955, when I was caught and taken back to Germany.The Social Services Department placed me with another farmer,Mr. Stumm in Granterath be Erkelenz.
This farmer was a fair and reasonable man. He treated we well and paid me on a weekly basis. After 8 weeks he told me that he had received a visit from the Social Worker and they demanded that he had to pay my earnings to them and not to me anymore.He was very understanding and told me that he would understand if I were to leave, gave me money in addition to what he owed me and I left, returning again to the Netherlands, were I had grown up and felt at home.
Again I lived in the woods for many weeks and my aunt helped me.One day there was a circus, the “Circus Mickeney“ in the nearby city („Heerlen“) were I went and asked for a job which they gave me, so I started to be menagerie worker, cleaning out, feeding and nursing wild animals, leopards and tigers. I stayed until they left the Netherlands and I lived a couple of months from my earnings, until September 1956 when I became ill and ended up in hospital.I had no identification at all and once I had recovered from my illness, I was again deported back to Germany in November 1956.

Posted by Crimefighter

* The wise are not wise because they make no mistakes.
** They are wise because they correct their mistakes as soon as they recognize them.

Age 20 to 30

Castle in South Limburg near German border

The Social Services had enough of me and decided to put me in a housefor juveniles they could not control, at the
„Erlenhof“ in Euskirchen,
Koelner Landstrasse 250.

I was there until 1957 but continued to run away because I could not stand the waythey threatened us.There was no schooling. We had to work, unpaid, and I didn’t like it at all.
In the two years I was there I spent a total of eight months in the Erlenhof,but the remainder I spent on the run.
I worked as a farmhand, a handyman, barber, demolisher of ruins, builder, andas clown and horse rider in “Circus Strasbourg”, until March 1957.In August 1957 I was released at the age of 21 and returned to my father in Aachen.At that time he was living with his sister, my aunt

"Helene Zachel“ at 9. Heissbergstr.

I took a job with a building company, earned my money and helped my family to survive.After work I took lessons and went to evening schools to learn stock broking, bookkeeping, Law etc.My father was very ill and needed strong drugs to control the pain he suffered.In the first years after the war he made a huge fortune but he lost it later to purchasethe drugs that he needed and gambling in casinos in Badan-Baden, Bad-Neuenahr,Spa and Namur.
After he had lost everything he could not afford the drugs that he needed and was interrible pain.
I decided to help him, started to steal, to take from burglars and sell it to dealers all over the country and also to dealers in Benelux (Belgium-Netherlands and Luxembourg), soon I had a whole net of dealers and thieves.
Later I started to buy (on Credit, but I never paid) goods including a Piano, a Motorbike, Jewellery, Radios, a Typewriter and other stuff; and brought this to my father who sold them to buy the drugs that he needed.I stopped my criminal activities and wanted to repay all my debts, so I decided to join the German Army.
In 1958 I went to the German Army with a contract of three years,started to pay off my debts but, the Goddess of Fortune was against meand after four months I was arrested, dismissed from the Army and jailed for 20 months, what I served until the last day. During my stay at the prison I token lessons in accountancy, sales and banking, languages...

* The wise are not wise because they make no mistakes.
** They are wise because they correct their mistakes as soon as they recognize them.

* Posted by Crimefighter

Hiding place for refugee during II world war


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