We did not celebrate the surrender on 7th May 1945

Discussion in 'Germany' started by Lindele, May 16, 2020.

  1. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    In an interview with the national newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Wolf Schneider, Sergeant on 7th May 1945 and turning 20 on that day answered the following questions (rough and shortened translation by me)

    Question: Where were you on that day?

    We were in Ijmuiden near Amsterdam, I was with a Luftwaffe Felddivision, together with Luftwaffe guys without aircrafts. An infantry, second quality

    Question: Was there a party? No, we only had enough to eat. Later during the night walking in a dark park I wanted to kill myself. We all were shocked and I asked myself, what comes next. According to a rumor, we must stay in Holland, to drain the area German troops had floated before. This could take years. And I was in fear, the allies had enough reasons to mistreat us. I was in Poland and saw how we treated the Poles. When a unit of the Arbeitsdienst marched through the village of Exin, the Poles had to lift their hats or caps. If someone did not do it, one man from the Arbeitsdienst would take a spate and hit the hat off the head. I thought that was disgusting.

    So, why should the winning troops treat us any different?

    Question: The Wehrmacht in the Winter 1944/45 wanted to cut off the Dutch from the supply of food products. Were you aware of this?

    No, we were pretty isolated from the Dutch.

    Question: What did you know about the Holocaust?

    I like to quote Helmut Schmidt from 2001 (Ex-German chancellor and Wehrmacht officer), "I knew nothing about the Holocaust".

    Question: What did you fight for?

    For nothing. I wanted to survive and nothing else. Only once, I was involved in a gun battle.With British paras in Arnheim.

    Later, I secured for myself a job in the orderly office.

    Question: Are you saying, you have been in this long war, without having shot someone?

    I am not sure, since I only fired a few shots in Arnheim and hope I did not hit a para.


    40 years later Richard von Weizaecker (Ex-president of Germany said: “The 8th May was the Liberation day”. And you said: “I was shocked.” Why?

    I thought, the speech was curious. I felt by no means liberated, but subdued by unpredictable strangers, as probably most of the Germans thought too.

    General Eisenhower is quoted having stated:”Germany will not be occupied for the sake of liberation, but as a beaten enemy state”.

    Question: So, if it was not liberation, what was it? A huge relief, to be a POW with the Canadian Forces
    They were civilized peole and did not treat us as Hitler infested men.
    Adam VE, Reid, Wobbler and 4 others like this.
  2. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    And, you know what: two of our best friends are French/English Canadians living near Vancouver. Both ex Canadian Forces past WW2.
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
    canuck likes this.
  3. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Don't think I've ever read a postwar PoW memoir, East or West, other than passing reference by Henry Mettelman.

    Might have to track down Holl's 'After Stalingrad'.
  4. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96


    there is more to come.
    I am planning an interview with two wehrmacht guys both +90
    Adam, I am planning for an interview past Corona with two Ex Wehrmacht men, next to my home town. Both 90+ in age.
    Reid and von Poop like this.
  5. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    I remain suspicious of any German who was not aware of forced labour and concentration camps - there were hundreds camps dotted all over a Greater Germany and the millions of inmates were not confined to camps - they worked on all sorts of tasks in their local communities.


    vitellino likes this.
  6. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    I agree with Frank about labour and concentration camps. The question put to the German soldier however was about the Holocaust, which as I understand it referred to the extermination camps.

    Lindele likes this.
  7. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Indeed and did anyone not from 1943 begin to wonder where all the Jews had gone? From 1942 municipalities began removing all the Jews forbidden signs because there were none anymore and they knew they weren't coming back

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