Jan interviews his Great-Aunt

Do you still remember the War?

I was born in Dollart in 1952. The "first day of peace" had been 7 years earlier on May 9, 1945. But even then, I could still see the destruction from the air raids in my hometown of Emden. One example: The townhall had been destroyed down to its very foundations. War in my own country I did not experience - Thank God!

What do you think of first when you hear the word "war"?

Injustice among the people.

Do you know how your parents got through the war?

Father told us very little. He was born in 1928. Not even 18 at the end of the War drama! When the War broke out (on September 1, 1939), he was about your age, Manuel. And he had to serve as a soldier.

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Knabenchor Hannover © Imme Henrike Wolters

Encounter between two countries - a project across generations

The boys of the Boys' Choir Hanover as well as of the Liverpool Cathedral Choir interviewed their Grandparents or other elderly relatives about their memories and associations on the subject war. mehr

My father-in-law from Upper Lusatia (Oberlausitz, born 1928) was a little more talkative when it came to the subject of war. My mother told us about how she was dispatched as a "war-helper".She was born in 1923. As a war-helper, she had fixed bombers for the Wehrmacht in Rostrup (?) near Westerstede. When the War ended, she went back home to Suhrhusen on foot.

Has your family had any particular experiences in connection with the war?

My father kept in touch with his comrades from the war. I was your age, Manuel, when we went to Dietz upon Lahn, where I met Mr Schwarz. He couldn’t walk properly because of his war injuries. One of father’s brothers, Johannes, was killed in the War. He is buried in France. There was a picture of him wearing his navy uniform on our wall in the family living room.

What happened after the War?

Nobody told me about this time. My parents got married in October 1949. My brother was on his way. He was born in February 1949.

Did anybody in your family experience hunger?

I don’t think anybody experienced outright hunger, no. But I'm sure there were shortages. At 43, father already had dentures.

Do you believe something could be done to prevent wars from happening?

Yes, definitely! Everybody sticking to the Christian commandments! And to the article of the constitution that goes: "The dignity of men is unimpeachable…"

I wish all the singers and musicians participating in this project all the best!


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