The Last Chance to Remember
Chapter 21. THE ROAD TO FREEDOM
owners of the house had just left hurriedly because of the sirens, alarm
signals, and ran for safety. The table was set for breakfast, the oven
was hot, smoke was wafting from the chimney, but we were blind to all
those signs. We enjoyed enormously our freedom, the cleanness and made
ourselves comfortable. We started to wash our tired body with warm water,
changed our clothing for clean ones. I went upstairs where I found some
plain farm clothing, really nothing special, but everything was beautifully
clean. I have to admit something: it was not very nice what I did, but
I left my lice infested clothing behind.
sister made scrambled eggs from five eggs, neither of us could touch
anything. We saw too much food suddenly and we were too weak for all
this excitement. There was so much food in the pantry, this family was
provided for a long, long time.
finally realized that we could not stay there, so we started to prepare
ourselves to leave this beautiful place. The meat was distributed and
each of us had a part to carry. My only big wish was to find a small
pillow and I was lucky to discover one. Some of the girls took a camera
or bicycle and slowly, quietly we left. Nothing and nobody was pushing
us but the time seemed to be ripe for leaving. We were completely mesmerized
by this experience!
was unthinkably beautiful. The rooms were warm and almost smelled of
cleanness and had a taste of family life.
one hand hugging the pillow, the real treasure, my other hand clutching
the pail, our would-be supper. We left the house one by one, very slowly
and suddenly our brain started to function because we found ourselves
face to face with the owners of the house. This woke us up very fast,
we became sober instantly. It dawned on us how thoughtless we had been.
the end of the danger signal those people started to return from their
shelter and met our group with their belongings. They were a whole group
of people, mainly women with a few men with rifles in their hands, ready
to use at any minute. They were very angry and the yelling was most
demanded that we put down and leave on the ground their belongings and
they meant business. It was not a joke. Slowly each of us put down everything.
For me it was hard to part from my pillow but I had no choice and the
bucket had the same fate (Eimer, as the Germans called it). They were
so much stronger, healthier and they were a whole group. But, mainly
we were so weak like a fly, anybody would have an easy task with us.
It would have been very foolish to disagree with the facts. We were
too tired, physically, mentally and all over. We gave up everything.
slowly we started to walk away. We were trying to reach the forest,
where we lay down in the rain soaked grass and didn't care about anything
anymore, because we were certain that those German people with all their
anger would follow us any minute and finish us.
the last days we were just dragging ourselves. On top of everything
the diarrhea tortured and plagued my existence. We really didn't care
anymore. We were very quiet, giving up everything and waiting for our
fate through the wet and dark evening as, in the meantime, night fell.
didn't understand yet what saved us temporarily. The Belgian soldier,
our leader had been busy packing and taking two suitcases from the house.
He was smacked and hit from every side until they took back everything
from him that belonged to the owners of the house. They were shouting
and yelling loud at him, but this short time was what we had needed.
We never saw him again.
is really unbelievable how in such a hopeless situation from which we
didn't dare to hope, we were spared. We can be thankful forever to this
stranger who saved our lives unwittingly, while he was in big trouble.
We were very quiet, nobody uttered a word, there was nothing to say,
we were certain that this time was really the end.
we heard some noise from the bushes but nobody dared to look up. One
of the girls turned to me and said: for you it doesn't matter anymore,
go and see!?
was right and we all knew in what bad shape I was. So I lifted my head
and there stood a gray horse with a Russian soldier. The miracle had
happened!! We were Liberated! at the last minute! in that short time
while the German people had the quarrel with our leader.
unbelievable as it sounds, our dream came true. It had now become reality.
Suddenly we became alive, jumped up from our somber situation and hugged
and hugged the soldier even his horse. I love animals but from a distance.
This was something else. A more beautiful scene was just not imaginable.
After a brief, very happy welcoming the soldier urged us to leave the forest because they had to comb through the whole place looking for civilians. He sent us to the farm. At first we were reluctant and afraid to go, but he assured us that now the situation was different. We were not eager to meet those people again.